A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday reserved orders on the appeal filed against a Single Judge rulingwhich held that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, cannot interfere with the day-to-day affairs of the Puducherry administration. Orders were reserved in the matted by the First Bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad.
Sekar Reporter December 14, 2019
A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday reserved orders on the appeal filed against a Single Judge rulingwhich held that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, cannot interfere with the day-to-day affairs of the Puducherry administration. Orders were reserved in the matted by the First Bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad. Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhiappeared for Union of India and contended that the Single Judge ruling was in violation of the Constitution, the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 and the Rules of Business of the Government of Puducherry, 1963. Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, assisted by Advocates Rahul Unnikrishnan and V Chandrasekaran, appeared for the Administrator of Puducherry. Datar argued that the decision of the single judge could not be sustained in view of Article 1 and Schedule I of the Constitution. Senior Advocate AL Somayaji also appeared for the Administrator of Puducherry. The counsel appearing for the appellants heavily argued on maintainability of the writ petition and the locus standi of the petitioner. Senior Advocates G Masilamani, VT Gopalan and Om Prakash opposed the appeal, while arguing on various instances of alleged interference by Kiran Bedi in the administration of Puducherry. Earlier this year, Justice R Mahadevan ruled that the legislative body of the Union Territory of Puducherry enjoys similar powers to that of a “State”. The single judge proceeded to hold that the Administrator of Puducherry ( i.e. the Lieutenant Governor) cannot interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the Government, and that the decision taken by the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister is binding on the Secretaries and other officials. Consequently, the Court quashed two communications issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which the Court found had effectively undermined the power of the Legislative Assembly and elevated the power of the Administrator, though not exactly available under the applicable laws. The Union of India and the Administrator of Puducherry preferred writ appeals against the order of the Single Judge. The matter was earlier slated to be heard by a Bench of Justices . Thereafter, it Vineet Kothari and CV Karthikeyan came up before a Bench of Justices . N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan However, the matter was thereafter taken up by a Bench headed by recently sworn-in Chief Justice AP Sahi. The First Bench heard arguments in the matter between Wednesday and Friday before reserving its judgment.