General News

Setback For Kiran Bedi, Madras High Court Says Lieutenant Governor Has No Powers To Interfere Or Act Independently

Written By Sanjeevee Sadagopan | Mumbai | Published:

Ever since Kiran Bedi took the post of Puducherry LG in the year 2016, there has been a major tug-of-war between the elected Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and the Lieutenant Governor on various matters which still continues.

The Chief Minister with his Cabinet and his MLAs sat on a 5-day dharna before Raj Nivas of Puducherry, seeking the LG to clear the pending files approved by the government. Chief minister V Narayanasamy claimed that the LG is interfering into the day-to-day activities of the democratically elected government and called it unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, former education minister and sitting MLA Lakshmi Narayanan approached Madras High Court seeking the court setting aside the directives given by the MHA which grants special powers to the LG which allows them to interface into the day-to-day activity by seeking the government files and documents. Lakshmi Narayanan also stated that the Lt.Guv is acting on par with the elected govt and it is an administrative overreach by the L-G. 

Madurai Bench of MHC which heard the matter on Tuesday set aside the clarification of the directives given by the HMO to the L-G to interfere in the day-to-day activities of the Puducherry government and sought govt-related files.

During the previous arguments, the reply filed by L-G Kiran Bedi's personal secretary argued that the Home Ministry had given them special directives and also claimed the L-G is the administrative officer of the Union territory and asked to dismiss the petition filed by the MLA.

When the case was taken up for orders on Tuesday, Justice Mahadevan set aside all the special directives given by the HMO to the Lt.Guv in the months of January and in June 2017.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy who reacted to the media after this order called this as a historic verdict and said that the L-G should abide by the orders. He also warned the L-G, stating that the Puducherry government will file a contempt petition if she fails to abide by the order. He also mentioned that the development and welfare schemes of Puducherry took a hit because of her interference for the last 3 years.

It should be waited and watched as how the L-G Kiran Bedi is going to react on this court order on setting aside the clarification of directives given by MHA on her powers.

Update at 18:25: L-G Kiran Bedi has responded to the developments:

"We are examining the Judgement. After which we shall take a view. Meanwhile we are still in the Model Code of Conduct of Elections period. 
Files which require Lt Governor’s approval such as service matters, of promotions, appointments, disciplinary matters and financial sanctions for Grants in Aid are being received and being examined and cleared on merits of each case. The weekly disposal is also placed on record as was the earlier practice."