The President recently promulgated the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 to make a fresh claim of power over the services in the capital.



  • The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Delhi Government will have legislative and executive control over administrative services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) except with regard to public order, police and land.
  • Now, the Centre has brought the ordinance which nullifies the SC order.


About Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023

  • The ordinance seeks to establish for the first time the National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA).
  • NCCSA Composition It will be headed by the Chief Minister of Delhi, with the Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary of Delhi being the other two members.
  • Functions of NCCSA —
      • It will make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) regarding transfer, posting, vigilance and other incidental matters of all Group ‘A’ officers and officers of DANICS serving in the Government of NCTD.
      • All matters required to be decided by the NCCSA shall be decided by majority of votes of the members present and voting.
      • This means, that in effect, the decision of the elected chief minister of Delhi can be overruled by the two senior bureaucrats.
  • Role of Lieutenant Governor —
      • The ordinance stated that the LG will pass orders to give effect to the recommendations passed by the NCCSA.
      • However, LG can ask for the relevant material with regard to officers belonging to All India Services and DANICS serving the Delhi government.
      • In case the LG differs with the recommendation made, he/she may return the recommendation to the Authority for reconsideration by the Authority. For this, reasons will have to be recorded in writing.
      • However, as per the ordinance,  in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the LG shall be final.
  • There is no specific provision in the ordinance regarding the transfer posting, discipline etc of Group B and Group C officers, which seems to indicate that the elected government of Delhi would continue to have control over these officers.


What is an ‘Ordinance’?

  • Ordinances are like a law but not enacted by the Parliament/State Legislatures but rather promulgated by President of India/Governor of States when both houses of Parliament/State Legislature or either of those is not in session.
  • Cabinet’s recommendation is a must for an ordinance to be promulgated. Using ordinances, immediate legislative actions can be taken.


Conditions and constitutional provisions –

  • For an ordinance to exist, it should be approved by the Parliament (or State Legislature in case of Governor’s ordinance) within six weeks of it being introduced. Parliament is required to sit within 6 weeks from when Ordinance was introduced.
  • An ordinance is a law that is promulgated by the President of India only when the Indian parliament is not in session. President promulgates an ordinance on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.
  • Similarly, Governor of Indian states can also initiate ordinances only when a legislative assembly is not in session when it is a unicameral legislature and when legislative assembly along with legislative council both are not in session when it is the bicameral legislature.
  • Article 123 deals with the ordinance making power of the President. Article 213 deals with the power of Governor to legislate through ordinances.