A delegation of political leaders will soon meet the President, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to apprise them of the political situation arising out of rejection of transfer of a senior civil service official by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. The decision was taken at a joint meeting of leaders and MLAs of Congress, DMK, the opposition AIADMK (Amma) and other parties on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, PWD Minister and PCC president A Namassivayam, who presided over the meeting, said a resolution to this effect was adopted at the meeting. The meeting described the style of functioning of Bedi as being “in contravention of the constitutional prescriptions and democratic norms”, he said. The date of the delegation’s visit is to be decided soon.
The replacement of the senior civil service officer had triggered a confrontation between the government and Bedi in the Union territory. Hours after Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday termed the Assembly Speaker’s ruling over replacing the civic official as “final”, Bedi said the transfer order was invalid. She said an officer appointed by the Lt Governor can be removed only by the same authority.
“The order of transfer of Municipal Commissioner of Puducherry is not a small administrative routine matter. It is of an officer appointed by the Lt Governor who could be removed only by the Lt Governor,” she had stated yesterday.
Bedi said under the Business Rules, the Legislature is not empowered to make appointments. The Chief Minister could propose names for transfers and postings but the final decision is of the Lt Governor as per Rule 47, she had said.
She had also said if the Chief Minister and his ministers have anything to say, they were free to approach the Centre or the higher courts and seek clarification. Narayanasamy had said on Monday that the ruling on replacement of Municipal Commissioner R Chandrasekaran, an issue over which Bedi has locked horns with the government, was final.
Bedi had then too termed as “invalid” the replacement of Chandrasekaran based on a ruling of Speaker V Vaithilingam on March 30 and said she was the “competent authority” on officials’ service matters. The Speaker had ordered replacement of the Commissioner after an opposition AIADMK (Amma) MLA raised a Privilege issue against him.