In a major victory for Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ruled that Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi does not have the power to interfere with the day-to-day activities of the Union Territory.
Deciding on the case filed by Puducherry Congress legislator K Lakshminarayanan against Bedi, the High Court said that “Bedi does not have to power to call for files and give orders to the officials”.
“The court said the administrative and financial powers are with the elected government and the Lt.Governor has to act as per the advice of the Council of Ministers,” Lakshminarayanan told IANS.
He said the court said it is only the elected government that has the power.
Lakshminarayanan said the court struck down the clarifications issued by Union Home Ministry in 2017 on the powers of the Lt. Governor.
Narayanasamy has been engaged in a running feud with the Governor over the “undemocratic style of functioning” and her “interference” in the routine administration. He had also asked the Centre to recall the LG.
The Congress government and Bedi have been at loggerheads over several issues, including medical admissions and induction of three nominated MLAs since she assumed office in 2016.
Earlier in February, Narayanasamy had gone on a six-day sit-in dharna outside Kiran Bedi’s official residence.
His protest came after Bedi hit the road and advised two-wheeler owners to wear helmets.
While Bedi wanted the helmet rule for two-wheeler riders to be implemented at one go, Narayanasamy wanted the implementation in phases.
The chief minister had also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging Bedi to create problems for the Congress government in the Union Territory.
Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal had earlier extended his support to the Puducherry CM. The AAP government in Delhi has continued to be at loggerheads with LGs since the party swept to power in early 2015.
The AAP alleged that Puducherry LG Bedi seemed to be following in the footsteps of what her Delhi counterpart Anil Baijal has been “frequently doing”.