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'Outcome of plea in court binding on decision of govt, Bedi'

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Press Trust of India Chennai
The Madras High Court on Thursday said decisions taken by both the Puducherry government and its Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi would be subject to the final outcome of appeals by the Union government and LG on her powers.
A division bench of justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan made the observation while hearing appeals of the Union government and Bedi challenging the order by a single-judge bench restraining the LG from interfering in the government's day-to-day functioning.
The previous division bench before which the appeals against the single-judge bench's order was filed by the Union government and Bedi in August this year had refused to stay the order of the single-judge bench and provide an interim relief to the LG.
When the plea came up for hearing on Thursday, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, senior advocates Arvind Datar and A L Somayaji appeared for the Union government and Bedi.
The original petitioner, Puducherry legislator K Lakshminarayanan was represented by senior advocates G Masilamani and V T Gopalan.
Recording their appearances, the bench posted the appeal for final hearing on October 31.
The issue pertains to a plea from Congress MLA Lakshminarayanan challenging the Union Home Ministry's communications vesting powers on the lieutenant governor.
In his petition, the MLA cited various instances of interference in the government's day-to-day affairs by the lieutenant governor, forcing government officials to be in WhatsApp groups, interfering in financial matters, holding review meeting with officials, and thereby bypassing the elected government.
Allowing the plea, a single-judge bench had held that the elected government functioning through a council of ministers could not be defeated by the acts of an administrator who is also functioning under the provisions of the Constitution.
The judge held that the lieutenant governor's powers to act as an administrator is restricted and applicable only in certain circumstances.
Challenging the order, the Union Home Ministry, in its appeal, has said the single judge had erred in holding that the writ petitioner had locus standi in the matter.
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.
When the government has not questioned the communication, it is not open to a private individual to question the internal communication, it added.

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First Published: Sep 26 2019 | 10:30 PM IST

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