The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the decision of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, to nominate three MLAs – V Saminathan, KG Shankar and S Selvaganapathy – to the Puducherry Assembly.
The ruling Congress had moved the Supreme Court challenging the LG’s decision to nominate three MLAs to the Assembly, claiming that she should have consulted the ruling party before nominating the MLAs. The nominations had drawn controversy as two of the MLAs are from the BJP while the third is a pro-BJP educationist.
However, the Supreme Court has upheld the nominations and stated that the LG has the power to nominate MLAs. Taking to Twitter, LG Kiran Bedi welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict.
“Exceedingly grateful and happy to see the Judgement passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court validating the Nomination Of the Three Nominated MLAs to the Legislative Assembly Of Puducherry, by GOI as per the Law. We thank the three MLAs for their forbearance as they went through many unpleasant situations, sometimes highly disrespectful, to finally achieve this judgement today. In the end, the Law prevailed and upheld. They now serve for the prosperity of Puducherry as a whole (sic),” she said in a short statement uploaded to Twitter.
The move by the Lt Governor to nominate the MLAs last year had irked the ruling party in Puducherry. The BJP, till then, had a negligible presence in the Union Territory and no representation in the 30-member assembly. Bedi, however, had maintained that she acted according to the law and that there was ‘no conflict’ in the nominations.
The Puducherry government then moved the Madras High Court against the nominations in July 2017. The Madras High Court upheld the nomination and stated that such nominations by the Lt Governor are legally valid.
The Puducherry government then appealed in the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court, which has now upheld the latter’s order. The Supreme Court had stated that it expected the Speaker of the Assembly to allow the nominated MLAs to participate in the Assembly proceedings.