Supreme Court of India (File Photo)
Supreme Court of India (File Photo)

SC restrains Puducherry govt from implementing financial Cabinet decisions

ANI | Updated: Jun 04, 2019 16:31 IST

New Delhi [India], Jun 4 (ANI): Amid tussle between Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi over administration in the Union Territory, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the elected government not to implement any decision involving financial implications or transfer of officials.
A Bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice MR Shah also issued a notice to Narayanasamy while making him party in the case and sought his reply by June 21, the next date of hearing. It also sought response from Chief Secretary of Puducherry on the plea of Centre and Kiran Bedi.
The Bench also asked Centre and Lieutenant Governor to file within three days a proper affidavit raising objections to the agenda items for the June 7 Cabinet meeting.
"In the meantime, till next date of hearing any final decision in the cabinet meeting to be convened on June 7 having financial implication or with respect to any transfer of land shall not be implemented," the court said in its order.
The court's order came on an application filed by Kiran Bedi seeking interim direction for maintaining status quo as it existed before the Madras High Court order which curtailed her authority to act independently of the elected government.
Earlier, the Centre and Bedi had also challenged the Madras High Court order which curbed the Lieutenant Governor's power not to interfere in the day-to-day administration.
During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Centre told the Bench that the Puducherry Chief Minister was acting in a way that would make the office of the Administrator redundant and he has called cabinet meeting on June 7 with regard to financial matters on the agenda and that will change the way the Union Territory is governed.
The Bench then asked the Centre about the agenda it is concerned about. The Central government replied that the issues include regularisation of construction, construction, financial matters etc. and stated that the state government wants to take decisions without clearing it with Kiran Bedi.
The application filed by Bedi said that propriety demanded that status quo prior to Madras High Court curtailing her powers ought to have been maintained once the Supreme Court issues notice on the same, however, the same was not done.
"Pursuant to the order dated May 10, 2019 propriety demanded that status quo ante as it existed prior to the impugned judgment dated April 30, 2019 having been passed, be maintained. However it was not to be," it stated.
The apex court on May 10 had issued a notice to Congress MLA K Laksminarayanan, on whose plea the High Court had passed the Judgement on April 30, and others on the Centre and Kiran Bedi's appeals. The top court had refused to stay the High Court order.
On April 30, the High Court had asked Bedi not to interfere in the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory, especially when an elected government is in place.
Acting on the petition filed by Congress lawmaker K Lakshminarayanan, the Madras High Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor doesn't have rights to interfere in the daily affairs of the elected government and pressed that incessant interference from her would amount to "running a parallel government".
In his petition before the High Court, the lawmaker had sought quashing of two clarifications issued by the Union Home Ministry regarding powers of the Lieutenant Governor.
Bedi, in her defence, contended that the governance in the Union Territory came to a standstill following the order limiting her powers.
Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy have been locking horns at several occasions since the former top-cop took the post, with the Congressman even staging a sit-in protest outside Raj Niwas against Bedi's decisions. (ANI)