The LG has advised against the Delhi government’s proposal to “home deliver” basic public services – from birth certificates to social welfare schemes maintaining “most of these services are already digital”.

Do you think the LG is right in expressing a difference of opinion with the elected government on such matters of public interest?

As per Article 239AA and the GNCTD Act of 1991, the LG is just a delegate of the President and can only act on his own in case of urgency. The lieutenant governor can interfere in the affairs of Delhi only in two cases – if the state government crosses its powers and if Delhi is under some kind of threat. However, the lieutenant governor can’t pick and choose from the wide range of various allocations of business in Delhi. In case of a disagreement between the council of ministers and the LG over an issue, the resolution through negotiation is suggested and in case of its failure, the President’s call remains final.

However, the Delhi’s lieutenant governor has more power than the governor of a state and he does not have to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers all the time. Lt Governor Anil Baijal has sent back a proposal for doorstep delivery of 40 public services to the Delhi government on the pretext of reconsideration and suggestion of an alternate model. According to him, the present proposal has implications on safety and security of women, senior citizens and may also lead to corruption, bad behaviour, breach of privacy, loss of documents and unnecessary expenditure for government and people.

The concurrence of Lt Governor is mandatory for administrative decisions and he holds a virtual veto, so in this regard, his difference of opinion stays a thoughtful one.

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