The Madras High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the order in which a single-judge bench had ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry does not have powers to interfere in the day-to-day functioning of the government.
Justice R Mahadevan of the Madras High court had, on April 30, ruled that the LG of Puducherry is bound by the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers in matters concerned with legislature.
Following the judgment of the High Court, the central government had moved a division bench of the court against the ruling. The petition mentioned that the single-judge bench which passed the order curtailing the powers of the LG did not consider the difference between a full-fledged state and a union territory. The petition also mentioned that Justice Mahadevan â€śfailed to appreciateâ€ť 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, and that the judge had wrongly equated the administration of a union territory to that of a full-fledged state.
The central governmentâ€™s petition was heard before a bench consisting of Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice CV Karthikeyan who refused to grant a stay on the order issued by Justice Mahadevan. While the counsel for the government of India, Aman Lekhi, argued that the single-judge bench had not considered the relevant provisions in the Constitution while passing the order, the counsel for Lakshminarayanan, an MLA in Puducherry who was the original petitioner in the case, cited the example of the Supreme Court quashing a similar order by the Delhi High Court.
Refusing to grant a stay in the order of the single-judge bench, the division bench directed the parties to file their responses to the petition by September 4.
The HC's April order came months after the tussle between the LG of Puducherry and the elected Chief Minister of the union territory reached a peak. V Narayanasamy, the Puducherry Chief Minister, had staged a dharna in front of Governor Kiran Bedi's residence, opposing her alleged overreach of powers which he claimed hindered his governance.