LG Kiran Bedi Has No Powers To Interfere In Day To Day Govt Affairs: Madras High Court
In a response to a writ petition filed by Puducherry Congress MLA Lakshminarayanan questioning the powers of Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi in 2017, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered that Bedi has no powers to interfere in day to day government affairs.
Talking to NDTV, Gandhirajan, Lakshminarayanan’s lawyer said, “The court has said that in matters of finance, administration and service matters, she (Kiran Bedi) can’t act independently but has to consult and act on the advice of the council of ministers.”
Bedi has been engaged in a power tussle with Lakshminarayanan ever since she assumed office in May 2016. Earlier this year, the relation between both the heads strained further when CM Lakshminarayanan started a protest against mandating compulsory helmets for two-wheelers in the union territory. The CM along with a few other lawmakers slept outside the Nivas for two consecutive nights in February 2019.
Bone of contention
Lakshminarayanan in 2017 had challenged the validity of two clarifications issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding the powers enjoyed by the lieutenant governor of a Union Territory.
Stating the powers of the lieutenant governor, MHA had said that a governor of a union territory holds more power than a governor of any other state and can act freely without aid and advice of the council of ministers.
Later, on behalf of Lakshminarayanan, former union minister P Chidambaram in August 2018 had also filed a submission in Madras High Court stating that the governor is making a mockery of the constitution and the Pondicherry act.
As published in Business Standard, Chidambaram had alleged that Bedi has been directly calling Municipal and Corporation official and seeking explanations for all the things. “Lt governor is interfering in day-to-day affairs of the elected government,” said Chidambaram.
All the problems began, when LG cancelled a circular issued by the Department of personal and Administrative Reforms of Government of Puducherry, in January 2017, urging the government officials not to use social media such as WhatsApp and other applications for official works, reported Outlook.