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Centre moves Madras HC against order on Bedi's 'interference' in Pondy govt affairs

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The Centre moved the Madras High Court on Friday against a single judge bench order restraining Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi from "interfering" in the day-to-day affairs of the territorial government and bypassing it.

The central government approached the high court after the Supreme Court refused to hear Bedi's direct appeal, which had bypassed the former's division bench, against the April 30 order.

On Friday, when the condone delay application by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) came up, a division bench of justices Vineeth Kothari and C V Karthikeyan admitted the appeal as the apex court had granted Bedi the liberty to approach it (division bench).

The bench then directed the registry to number the appeal and list it for hearing.

The matter pertains to a petition by Puducherry Congress MLA K Lakshminarayanan, challenging two communications issued in January and June 2017 by the MHA "elevating" the power of the administrator.

In his petition, the legislator cited instances of interference in the government's day-to-day affairs by Bedi, holding review meetings with officials, and thereby bypassing the elected government.

Allowing the plea, a single judge bench of the high court had observed that the elected government functioning through a Council of Ministers could not be defeated by the acts of an administrator, who also functions under the provisions of the Constitution.

The judge had held that the powers of the Lt Governor to act as an administrator were restricted and applicable only in certain circumstances.

Assailing the order, the MHA in its appeal said the single judge had erred in holding that the petitioner has locus standi to move such a plea.

"The proceedings in the writ petition are in the nature of clarification to the communication given by the Union Home Ministry to the government of Puducherry," it said.

"When the government has not questioned the communication as illegal, it is not open to a private individual to question the internal communication," it added.

The MHA submitted that the matter concerns the exercise of executive power in the government of Puducherry and in dealing with the same, the single judge bench had 'misdirected' itself by referring in detail to provisions concerning the conduct of legislative business prescribed for the legislature of the state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 09 2019. 23:00 IST