NEW DELHI: Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday took the Opposition to cleaners over the contentious Delhi Services bill, saying misplaced notions were being used by the party leaders of Congress and AAP, to drive a wedge between bureaucrats and elected politicians over the proposed section 45 of the bill who accused Centre of divesting powers of ministers of Delhi.
“A huge misplaced contention is being spread in the country that Delhi Services Bill would shrink the ministers’ powers and pass them to bureaucrats. I have served in Gujarat as a state cabinet minister and now in the Centre as a Modi minister. I can tell you that no minister in the state ever signs a cabinet note, it’s the secretary of the department that does that. Now some people are quoting 45(1). These rules were brought by the Congress government in 1993. Not a difference by a full stop or a comma. If the Congress has its soul in place, they should then not support AAP today,” Shah told the Rajya Sabha.
अगर यह बिल जल्द न आता, तो AAP सरकार अपने सभी घोटालों की फाइल गायब कर, फाइल गायब करने का एक और घोटाला कर देती। pic.twitter.com/APPttA7XbK
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 7, 2023
According to the Section 45 of Delhi Services Bill, the Centre has dropped the mandatory permission on orders or directions of cabinet ministers pertaining to any proposal or matter that is to be referred to the Centre before the LG.
Shah said that the bill respects the Constitution as well as the Supreme Court’s recent order that has given the provisions to the Parliament to propose any such Ordinance to control the affairs or the laws operating in the national capital.
“Since 1947, there were decisions taken by this same Parliament to annul or neutralise the orders of the Supreme Court. We are not doing that either (Isme toh yeh case bhi nahi). The first amendment was passed when the Parliament was not even convened. Unlike Congress, we are not changing the Constitution to bring any Emergency. Neither are we bringing any bill not to prevent the membership of a former PM (like Indira Gandhi),” said Shah.
One of the key purposes to bring the Delhi services bills has been the creation of authority for transfers and postings of senior officers of Delhi government.
The section 45 of the Delhi services bill would now empower the Centre to appoint officers belonging to all India services under the All India Services Act, 1951, except the Indian Police Service and officers belonging to Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Civil) Services (DANICS).
This will further empower the Centre to decide the following. That is : —
A. Tenure of office, salaries and allowances, provident funds, pensions, gratuities, leave of absence and other conditions of service of officers and other employees appointed or posted;
B. Powers, duties and functions of officers and other employees appointed or posted;
C. Qualifications of candidates for appointment to the posts and the manner of selection for the appointments;
D. Transfer or posting of officers and other employees.
This, essentially, also means that Centre can penalise, suspend and hold departmental inquiries and regulate appointments and conditions of service of public officials of the Delhi government
The Delhi Services Bill, that has been brought as an ordinance was promulgated by the Modi government, a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services in Delhi, excluding police, public order and land, to the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government.
Both the Centre and the Delhi government, that have been at loggerheads since last eight years, had approached the Supreme Court , which then subsequently referred it to a five-judge constitution bench, which is to start the proceedings.