The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay an order of the single judge of the Madras High Court that Lt Governor Kiren Bedi cannot run a parallel administration in the Union Territory.
Admitting a writ petition filed by Bedi against this order, the apex court however ordered notice to the Union Territory Administration and Congress whip K Lakshminarayanan on whose petition the Madras High court clipped the wings of the Lt Governor.Bedi had sought an interim stay on the high court order.
The Centre has impleaded itself in the case as Bedi is its representative in the Union Territory. The Congress Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy has accused Bedi of destabilising his government at the behest of the Modi Government at the Centre.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said recently, “the governance has come to a standstill” after the High Court decision in April that held ‘incessant’ interference from the LG would amount to running a “parallel government.”
The judgment was delivered by a single judge of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court while allowing a petition filed by Lakhminarayanan in 2017, and quashing two clarifications issued by the Union Home Ministry that year with regard to the powers of the LG. It held that those communications had been issued without reference to the constitutional provisions and other laws.
In essence, the single judge said that though Puducherry and New Delhi are Union Territories and both have elected Governments, the powers of the Lt Governors cannot be equated. Delhi being in the Union Capital region, the Lt Governor has certain special powers and the legislature has curbs especially in regard to law and order. There is no such curb on Puduchery Territorial Assembly. Therefore, the Lt Governor should go by the aid and advice of the elected Government.