The New Delhi Municipal Council Act, 1994

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The New Delhi Municipal Council Act, 1994 (Act No. 44 of 1994) dated 14th July, 1994, being the Act of Parliament, it was basically enacted to establish New Delhi Municipal Council and for all connected matters and aspects of such council. The Act contains twenty three Chapters consisting of 419 sections which are exclusively deals with the purpose of this Act. And the Act is to be extended upon New Delhi, and on 25th May, 1994 the provisions of this Act are required to be brought into force, as given under first provision of the Act. Moreover, the provisions of this Act was sought to amended by the Bill of 2010 and also of 2011.

This enactment of Central Government as is basically provides for establishment of aforesaid council, its first Chapter is dealing with same object, where section 3 to 9 of the Act deals with such establishment of New Delhi Municipal Council, which is to be established by the Central Government for providing municipal governance of New Delhi and persons or members comprising such council should include, Chairperson and other members as are given under section 4 of the Act. The duration for which Council should continue to work is of 5 years and if dissolved before given period, then it should be reconstituted within 6 months period from such dissolution, otherwise the Council is required to be reconstituted before expiry of 5 years. Other provisions under this Chapter are dealing with conditions as disqualifications of members, their oaths, etc. The next Chapter is dealing with important functions of such Council under sections 10 to 12. Section 10 speaks of vesting of Municipal Governance of New Delhi in this Council, however, such vesting should be subject to the provisions of this Act, also the rules, regulations, etc. made under this Act. Not only this, but the Council is obliged to consider statements of receipts and disbursements made periodically, and other reports and resolutions, etc. And the Chairperson of the Council can be required by this Council to provide all information, documents, records, etc. as are given under this provision. Besides, the Council is required and bounded to perform all the functions enlisted under section 11 of the Act, which the Council can perform as obligatory. Moreover, other functions are enumerated under Section 12 of the Act, which Council can at its discretion perform. Chapter IV of the Act from section 13 to 20 is concerning with the appointment of Chairperson, his term of Office, leaves, absents, salary, service regulations, etc. Similarly, Chapter V deals with procedure under sections 21 to 32 of the Act. The Council to meet at least once monthly for discussing transactions of business of it as required under section 21 and other subsequent sections under this Chapter are dealing with procedure of such meetings.

The Officers and employees of the Municipal Council to be appointed by such Council and it should include Secretary and Chief Auditor and other officers. The Chapter VI deals with provisions relating to such appointments or recruitment of such officers or employees and other relevant matters connected thereto from section 33 to 43 of the Act.

The Municipal Council is empowered to build up its funds to meet its expenditures. Such fund to be named as New Delhi Municipal Fund, and as per provisions such funds to be held by Council in Trust for concerned purposes. The expenses, charges or costs incurred for the purposes of given effect the provisions of this Act and matters relevant thereto for which payment is directed under the Act, should paid out of such Funds. Even the provisions under this Chapter says that whatever money remained as surplus in Funds should be kept under account of the Bank or even such surplus money can also be taken for investment in Public Securities. Section 53 speaks of constitution of Finance Commission as required under the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 for reviewing financial position of the Council and also for making recommendations as to its suggestion. Other subsequent provisions are dealing with budgets, auditing, accounting, etc.

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The most important function of every governing body is imposition and collection of taxes, the provisions relating this aspect of matter are contained under Chapter VIII (From section 60 to 125). The Council is required to impose taxes on several things as are enumerated under section 60 of the Act. And as to rates, determination of property for tax purposes, valuation of buildings, etc. are given under subsequent provisions. The Chapter is very exhaustive consisting sixty five plus sections, so as to make all relevant provisions dealing with matter of taxation by Council. Similarly, Chapter IX contains provisions as to borrowing power of the Council, for certain purposes given under clauses of section 126. And the time for repayment thereof and other relevant provisions in this regard are being provided under subsequent provisions under this Chapter. Even Council is empowered under this Chapter to provide for regulation of borrowing.

Another important provisions is relating to matter of property and contracts. The Council is having power to acquire property and also can dealt with such properties while discharging its functions under this Act as per sections 137 to 141 of the Act. And as to contracts the provisions of Section 142 to 144 deals with under the Act, where Council can enter into a contract again for the purpose of this Act.

Provisions for water supply, drainage and sewage collection are also given under the Act, under its XIth Chapter. Being one of the essential function of Council, the provision of supplies of water for the several purposes, including domestic, non-domestic, useful for animals, etc. are to be made by it under section 147. Even as per section157 the Council requires to make provisions as to extinguishing any fire by providing fire hydrants. Similarly, waste or misuse of water, is prohibited by section 164. Also there are many other provisions made for management of drainage and sewage collection. Similar provisions as to supply of electricity are also made under next Chapter i.e. Chapter XII of the Act. And provisions as to construction, maintenance, etc. of the Streets in the within the city of New Delhi are provided under Chapter XIII of the Act. Regulations of Council subject to the supervisions of the Central Government, as to buildings erection are also given under this Act. Similarly, the Chapter XV under the Act deals with sanitation and public health provisions, including daily cleaning of streets and removing rubbish and filth therefrom. Also public latrine and urinals, etc. are also to be provided by Council and make it clean. And Chapter XVII deals with safety of public and suppression of nuisance. Provisions for markets, slaughter houses, etc. are to made by Council under the provisions next Chapter of this Act.

The provisions as to offence and penalty, also procedure thereof are provided under Chapter XX of the Act. And Chapter XXI of the Act makes provisions as to Rules, Regulations and Bye-laws by the Council and also for penal provisions against violation or breach of such rules, regulations, etc. And the Chapter XXII is dealing with controlling provisions, where the Central Government should have control over the affairs of the Council. And the last Chapter is dealing with miscellaneous provisions, including power delegation by the Central Government, annual report on administration, etc. And with the commencement of this Act and establishment of Council in terms of this Act, the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, which was having former applicability in New Delhi, was required to ceased its effect in New Delhi. As such the Act provides for better governance and management of affaires in New Delhi by the body corporate i.e. New Delhi Municipal Council.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.