The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice to Puducherry Chief Minister V Naranyanaswamy on a petition filed by the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory, Kiran Bedi, challenging a Madras High Court order that curtailed her powers. The Vacation Bench, comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and M R Shah, also restrained the Congress-led government in Puducherry from implementing any Cabinet decision with financial implications till the next date of hearing on June 21.
The apex court was hearing petitions filed by Bedi and the Ministry of Home Affairs. The petitioners are seeking status quo that existed before the HC held that Bedi “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of Puducherry’s elected government.
The L-G and CM have been in a tussle for power since 2016, with the latter alleging that Bedi was “interfering in the functioning of the government and stalling development in the state as several proposals are pending with her office”.
On April 30, the HC in a 151-page verdict said: “…Thus, the elected Government functioning through the Council of Ministers, cannot be defeated by the act of the Administrator who is also functioning under the provisions of the Constitution, by way of interfering in the day to day affairs of the Government and calling for each and every officer to the residence of the Administrator and running a parallel Government.”
It was hearing a plea filed by Congress MLA K Laksminarayanan who alleged Bedi was running a “parallel government” in Puducherry. Narayanasamy had hailed the verdict as a “victory” of democracy.