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Kiran Bedi-Narayanasamy stand-off: SC issues notice to Puducherry CM

By Vishal S
|

New Delhi, June 04: Hearing a petition filed by Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi challenging a Madras High Court order that curtailed her powers, the Supreme Court today issued notice to Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy in the power tussle matter in the Union Territory.

Bedi had sought the status quo that existed before the HC held that she "cannot interfere" in the day-to-day affairs of Puducherry's elected government.

Kiran Bedi-Narayanasamy stand-off: SC issues notice to Puducherry CM

The Madras High Court had recently held that Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi "cannot interfere" in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government there. A vacation bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and M R Shah also directed that any decision having financial implication, which could be taken in the cabinet meeting of June 7 in Puducherry, shall not be implemented till June 21. The apex court was hearing applications filed by the Centre and Bedi seeking that the situation prevailing before the high court's April 30 verdict be restored in the Union Territory since the administration there has come to a standstill.

The bench sought response from Narayanasamy on the plea, which said the chief minister should be impleaded as a party in the matter. On May 10, the apex court had sought response from Congress MLA K Laksminarayanan, on the pleas of the Centre and Bedi.

On April 30, the Madras High Court had allowed a plea filed by Laksminarayanan and set aside the two communications issued in January and June 2017 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs "elevating" the powers of the administrator. Referring to the Supreme Court judgement on the tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the high court had said that restrictions imposed on Government of Delhi are not applicable to the Government of Puducherry.

Puducherry L-G Kiran Bedi can't interfere with govt's day-to-day activities: Madras HC

"The administrator cannot interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the government. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers and the chief minister is binding on secretaries and other officials," it had said.

Laksminarayanan had claimed in his plea before the high court that the administrator was interfering in the day-to-day administration of the territorial government, its policies and programmes.

Kiran Bedi Vs Narayanasamy: Plenty of issues between CM and LG

In April 2017, the Lieutenant Governor had landed in a major controversy when she said that the free rice distribution would be conditional to the certification of the village being open defecation free. However, she took back the order within days as it drew flak from the legislators.

Later, her nomination of MLAs to the Puducherry Assembly, two of whom were part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had also triggered a row.Instructing the government officials and employees to be punctual, Kiran Bedi has formed a Whatsapp group and ordered them to update their work details.

In one such moment, an official had filed wrong information in the group and Kiran Bedi had suspended him without informing the Chief Secretary.

The issue has provoked tension among ministers and legislators. Following this, meetings were held by the authorities without informing the members of the Assembly. Municipal Commissioner R Chandrasekaran, who considered this as a breach of rights, showed his support to Kiran Bedi. He was then replaced by an order of the chief secretary.

In addition to this, Narayanasamy has instructed not to implement any official orders from the deputy governor without his approval.

Following this Kiran Bedi, started to criticize the authorities strongly in the social networking sites.

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