Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and Prateek Jalan, J. requested Centre to consider the grievances with regard to disaster management operations in NCR with emphasis on synchronization of the work under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 and the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 under a single nodal agency.

Present Public Interest Litigation was filed with following prayers put forward:

  • Issue directions to the centre to appoint a single nodal agency to carry out disaster management operations in the National Capital Region by having powers under the NCRPB Act and DM Act
  • Issue directions to Centre to implement the Regional Plan 2021 under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 specifically measures in relation to medical infrastructure and disaster management;
  • Issue directions to Centre/District/State authorities of NCR Region to work in tandem and provide a single set of parameters under a common COVID-19 response plan for the entire NCR region.
  • Issue directions to Centre and other agencies concerned to effectively implement the Regional Plans under Section 7 of the NCRPB Act.
  • Issue directions to the Central / State Governments & District level authorities of NCR region to work in tandem and provide a single set of parameters / directions / guidelines to implement the Study on Health Infrastructure in NCR as published by the NCRPB in December 2015 on its website, which has highlighted several other key gaps in the health infrastructure of the NCR region, in addition to the disparity in terms of health infrastructure between Delhi and other NCR region, resulting in disharmonious development of NCR region resulting in day to day difficulties being suffered by the citizens of the country staying in NCR region outside of Delhi area but contributing to the revenue generation of Delhi.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that it would suffice for the disposal of the PIL, if the same would be treated as a representation by the respondents and decided in accordance with law and also keeping in mind the provisions of National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 to be read with National Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Bench requested the respondent authorities to consider the grievances as pointed above specially the synchronization of the work under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 and the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 under a single nodal agency.

Court added that the said exercise will be carried out as early as possible and practicable.

Petition was disposed of in the above view. [Arjun Narang v. UOI, WP (C) 4115 of 2020, decided on 10-07-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Whereas, the COVID-19 situation in Delhi is reviewed regularly in the Ministry of Home and Affairs and it was observed that ‘Home Isolation’ without physical contact to monitor the patients may be a reason for increase in spread of COVID-19 infections in Delhi.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, in view of the surge in cases, it is felt that mandatory physical verification of each case under home isolation needs to be carried out by the Surveillance teams of the District Surveillance officers under overall supervision of the District Magistrate.

Thus, in view of the above, LG of Delhi directs all the departments concerned i.e. Revenue and Health and family Welfare:

  • Discontinuation of services of outsourced services of M/s PORTEA which was making only telephonic contact with the Home quarantine individuals with immediate effect.
  • Mandatory physical verification of each case under home isolation is to be carried out by the Surveillance teams of the District Surveillance officers under overall supervision of the District Magistrate.
  • 5 days institutional quarantine of each case under home quarantine is to be made mandatory and thereafter will be sent for home isolation except in cases where symptoms require further hospitalisation.

All CDMOs, District Surveillance officers and District Magistrates to ensure adherence to these directions.


Delhi Disaster Management Authority

[Order dt. 19-06-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In pursuance of decisions taken by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a series of meetings held on Sunday and Monday, June 14-15th, to handle the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, sample testing has been doubled immediately. A total of 16,618 test samples were collected on June 15-16.   Daily collection of samples varied between 4,000-4,500 till 14th June. Reports of 6,510 tests have been received so far and the remaining will be received by tomorrow.

As part of decisions taken by the Union Home Minister at COVID management meetings, door-to-door health survey of residents has been undertaken in 242 Containment Zones of Delhi. Out of total population of 2,30,466 in these zones, complete survey has been carried out of 1,77,692 persons during 15-16th June. Remaining persons will be covered by 20th June.

As part of actions to be completed as directed by Shri Amit Shah to tackle the COVID situation in Delhi, the report of high level Expert Committee headed by Dr. V.K Paul on rates to be charged by testing laboratories has been received in the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the same has been sent to Delhi Government for further necessary action.  Committee has fixed rate per test at Rs 2,400.

One more action taken as per decisions taken by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as per new protocol approved by ICMR, testing for COVID-19 will be done as per new Rapid Antigen methodology w.e.f 18th June. This technique will be much faster & cheaper.  Priority for supply of kits will be given to Delhi and a total of 169 centers have been set up in Delhi for collection & testing of samples.


Ministry of Home Affairs

[Press Release dt. 18-06-2020]

[Source:PIB]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: CJI Ranjan Gogoi has said that the Court will look into the plea of the Government of NCT of Delhi has sought constitution of a larger bench to expeditiously decide the issue of who controls the services in Delhi.

The bench of Dr. AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ had, on February 14, put an end to ‘almost’ all the issues related to the powers exercisable by and functions of the elected Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) vis-a-vis the Central Government. However, the judges differed on the question relating to ‘Service matters’.

While both the judges agreed that Entry 41 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution is not available to the Delhi Legislative Assembly as Entry 41 of List II deals with ‘State Public Services’ and ‘State Public Service Commission’ and that State Public Service Commission does not exist in NCTD, they differed on the issue of power to transfer and appoint certain officers.

Justice Sikri Justice Bhushan
The transfers and postings of Secretaries, HODs and other officers in the scale of Joint Secretary to the Government of India and above can be done by the Lieutenant Governor and the file submitted to him directly. For other levels, including DANICS officers, the files can be routed through the Chief Minister to Lieutenant Governor. In case of difference of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister, the view of the Lieutenant Governor should prevail and the Ministry of Home Affairs can issue a suitable notification in this regard. I having held that Entry 41 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution is not available to the Legislative Assembly of GNCTD, there is no occasion to exercise any Executive power with regard to “Services” by the GNCTD, since the Executive power of the GNCTD as per Article 239AA(4) extend in relation to matters with respect to which Legislative Assembly has power to make laws. With regard to “Services” GNCTD can exercise only those Executive powers, which can be exercised by it under any law framed by the Parliament or it may exercise those Executive powers, which have been delegated to it.

To read the full report report on February 14 verdict, click here.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Dr. AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ has put an end to ‘almost’ all the issues related to the powers exercisable by and functions of the elected Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) vis-a-vis the Central Government.

Difference on opinion on issue relating to ‘service’ matters:

While both the judges agreed that Entry 41 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution is not available to the Delhi Legislative Assembly as Entry 41 of List II deals with ‘State Public Services’ and ‘State Public Service Commission’ and that State Public Service Commission does not exist in NCTD, they differed on the issue of power to transfer and appoint certain officers.

 

 

Justice Sikri

 

Justice Bhushan

The transfers and postings of Secretaries, HODs and other officers in the scale of Joint Secretary to the Government of India and above can be done by the Lieutenant Governor and the file submitted to him directly. For other levels, including DANICS officers, the files can be routed through the Chief Minister to Lieutenant Governor. In case of difference of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister, the view of the Lieutenant Governor should prevail and the Ministry of Home Affairs can issue a suitable notification in this regard.

I having held that Entry 41 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution is not available to the Legislative Assembly of GNCTD, there is no occasion to exercise any Executive power with regard to “Services” by the GNCTD, since the Executive power of the GNCTD as per Article 239AA(4) extend in relation to matters with respect to which Legislative Assembly has power to make laws. With regard to “Services” GNCTD can exercise only those Executive powers, which can be exercised by it under any law framed by the Parliament or it may exercise those Executive powers, which have been delegated to it.

 

In the light of the aforementioned difference of opinion, a larger bench will be deciding the issue.

Concurrent opinions of the judges on other issues at a glance:

Setting up of Anti-Corruption Bureau Police Station

Centre

Setting up of Commission of Inquiry

Centre

Power to pass orders under Delhi Electricity Reforms Act, 2011 and Delhi Electricity Reforms (Transfer Schemes) Rules, 2001 appointing the nominee Directors on the Board of Electricity Distribution Companies

GNCTD

Power to revise the minimum rates of Agricultural Land (Circle Rates) under the provisions of Indian Stamp Act, 1899

GNCTD

However, the LG is also empowered to form its opinion ‘on any matter’ which may be different from the decision taken by his Ministers. In such circumstances, LG is supposed to refer the matter to the President for decision and act according to the decision given thereon by the President.

Appointment of Public Prosecutors under Section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure

GNCTD

 

Also read the related 5-judge Constitution Bench judgement that held that NCT of Delhi is not a State and Lt. Governor of Delhi is not an administrator.

[Govt. of NCT of Delhi v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 193, decided on 14.02.2019]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, JJ., in an order stated that the critical problem of “solid waste management” in Delhi certainly requires the active cooperation and assistance of the residents of Delhi.

The Bench on a careful reading of the report prepared by Ragini Jain and Almitra H. Patel in five volumes and considering the present situation of Delhi in regard to the solid waste management requested the Lt. Governor of Delhi to constitute a committee that would be responsible to go through the in-depth aspects of solid waste management in Delhi along with the cleaning of the dumpsites in Gazipur, Bhalswa, and Okhla. Further, the Court asked for the formation of a workable and implementable policy for the stated purpose.

The Supreme Court while directing the formation of the stated committee by the Lt. Governor asked them to not rush into taking any decision as the matter is of considerable importance. Also, the Committee was asked to be collaborative while the decision-making process would take place and in a manner that the cleanup mission brings a forward step instead of any hurdles for the said issue.

The matter was further listed for 27-08-2018 while asking the amicus curiae to suggest 4 to 5 people from the civil society who could be the member of the Committee. [Outrage as Parents End Life After Childs Dengue, In Re,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1016, Order dated 17-8-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ., addressed a PIL concerning the ‘Waste Management’ in Delhi.

The parties placed submissions that following kinds of waste are generated in houses, such as Wet Waste which is compostable, Dry Waste, Non-biodegradable, Biodegradable, Hazardous Waste and Construction and Building waste, and these are primarily the categories which need to be segregated for a proper waste management of solid waste in the city.

Another point discussed during the hearings was about the ‘pilot project’ that has been launched in some parts of Delhi, i.e. Green Park, Defence Colony, Maharani Bagh and Lajpat Nagar, for which the Supreme Court has asked for full details in regard to the project.

The Court has asked for furnishing the details by 14-08-2018 and has listed the matter on 17-08-2018.

Supreme Court has also notified that on the next date of hearing it would consider the submissions in regard to other alternative landfill sites as in Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujjran. [Outrage as Parents End Life After Childs Dengue, In Re 2018 SCC OnLine SC 823, order dated 06-08-2018]