The high court, she pointed out, had set aside the notifications issued in relation to the powers of the Lt. governor.
New Delhi: The lieutenant-governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging an order of the single judge of the Madras high court clipping her powers as lieutenant-governor in the Union Territory.
Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, appearing for Ms Bedi, made a “mention” for urgent listing of the petition before a Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta for early listing of the appeal. The bench agreed to consider the request as Ms Bedi submitted that the administration of Puducherry had been severely affected as a consequence of the judgment.
At the outset, Ms Bedi said that though a writ appeal ought to have been filed, she had chosen to file an appeal in the apex court as the high court is closed for summer vacation and there is urgency in this matter.
She said an important question of law has arisen in this appeal, viz whether the Union Territory of Puducherry can be considered as a “state” under the Constitution when the apex court had categorically ruled that Puducherry continued to be a Union Territory. The high court, she pointed out, had set aside the notifications issued in relation to the powers of the Lt. governor.
Further, she wanted the court to decide whether L-G of Puducherry was bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers despite there being a clear mandate in the Union Territories Act of 1963 that the L-G was not bound by the aid and advice of the CoM; whether UT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry can be treated alike despite the fact that the apex court had held that they fell in different categories.
She pointed out that the high court had erroneously held that Puducherry was akin to a state and the Lt Governor was bound to act as per the aid and advice of the council of ministers. She said such a finding was “incorrect.”