Jolt to L-G as Madras court says Puducherry not like Delhi.
Chennai: The Madras high court on Tuesday held that Puducherry lieutenant-governor Kiran Bedi “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government of the Union Territory, a decision hailed by chief minister V. Narayanasamy who termed it as “victory” of democracy.
Allowing a petition by K. Laksminarayanan, a Congress MLA, Justice R. Mahadevan set aside the two communications issued in January and June 2017 by the Union ministry of home affairs “elevating” the power of the administrator.
Referring to the Supreme Court judgment on the tussle between Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal, the judge said restrictions imposed on the government of Delhi are not applicable to the government of Puducherry.
“The apex court has clearly held that there is a distinction between the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry,” the judge said.
Though Puducherry was not a state, the Legislative Assembly would have the same powers as that of a state, he said.
Hailing the judgment, Congress leader and chief minister Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with Ms Bedi over various issues, said the court order was “historic and demonstrates the victory of democracy.”
In her reaction, Ms Bedi said, “We are examining the judgment.”
The judge in his order said, “The administrator cannot interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the government. The decision taken by the council of ministers and the chief minister is binding on the secretaries and other officials.”
The petitioner, Mr Lakshminarayanan, is an elected member of the Puducherry Assembly from the Raj Bhavan constituency.