The Madras HC had ruled in April that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry is bound to act by the elected legislature.

Centre moves Madras HC against its verdict curtailing powers of Puducherry Lt Guv
news Politics Saturday, August 10, 2019 - 12:19

The Central government has moved the Madras High Court against the verdict on the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry which was passed by its single judge bench.

According to reports, the Centre approached the Madras High Court after the Supreme Court directed it to file an appeal in the High Court. The Centre had challenged the verdict earlier in the Supreme Court.

The Central government’s petition filed before a Division bench of the Madras High court contends that the order passed by the single judge bench did not consider the distinction between a state and a union territory while passing the order. 

“It is wrong to assimilate the Union Territory of Puducherry into a State when the Constitution itself recognises a clear distinction between the two,” states the Central government’s affidavit. The affidavit also mentions that Justice R Mahadevan, who had passed the earlier order ruling that the elected government was supreme in Puducherry, ‘failed to appreciate’ that the administrative powers of Puducherry are demarcated between the Council of Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor based on the Union Territories Act and Rules. It also states that Justice R Mahadevan had wrongly equated the administration of a union territory to a full-fledged state.

On April 30, the Madras High Court had ruled that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry does not have the powers to interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the Puducherry government. It also ruled that the LG is bound by the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers in those matters that rest with the legislature. This order came months after the tussle between the LG of Puducherry and the elected Chief Minister of the union territory reached the zenith. V Narayanasamy, the Chief Minister of Puducherry, had staged a dharna in front of Governor Kiran Bedi's residence, opposing her alleged overreach of powers which he claimed hindered his governance.

The Supreme Court, on July 12, refused to interfere in the issue and granted a leave to the Union government to move the Madras High Court challenging the verdict.

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