The Supreme Court verdict on the tussle between the Delhi Lieutenant Governor and the Arvind Kejriwal-led government seemed to have a spillover effect in Puducherry as Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday threatened contempt proceedings if the judgment was not followed in the Union territory.
Handing a major victory to the AAP government, the apex court ruled that the LG cannot obstruct Delhi government’s policy decisions as he has no independent power and was bound by the elected dispensation’s advice. The ruling comes as a major relief for the Kejriwal-led government, which had been at the constant tug of war with the LG over several issues ever since it came to power in 2015.
While hailing the verdict, Naranaswamy, who has been at loggerheads with Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi, warned he would file a contempt petition if the apex court order was not followed in the Union territory. “I welcome the verdict, and it is totally applicable for the government of Puducherry, which is also a Union territory. It is a historic and grand victory of the elected representatives,” he told reporters.
“Whoever functions contrary to the judgment now delivered by the apex court would face serious action. I myself would file contempt petition against those failing to act in consonance with the Supreme Court verdict,” he said, without naming Bedi.
Barring three issues (public order, police and land), the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues, the top court said.
Facing a similar predicament, Narayanasamy has often accused Bedi of “overreach and interference” in the day-to-day running of the administration and criticised her for issuing orders to government officials without consulting the chief minister or ministers concerned, besides sitting on files relating to farm loan waiver and free education for Dalits.
“Now everything would become a thing of the past….The Supreme Court’s verdict has established the spirit of democracy and the purpose of elected government,” he said, noting that the top court has ruled that the Lieutenant Governor should not be “obstructionist”.
Narayanasamy said he has always insisted that the LG does not have independent decision-making powers and that “real power must lie with the elected government”.
About Bedi passing on instructions and issuing orders through social media, the chief minister said, “The the era of WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook frequently resorted to by the LG would now become a thing of the past.”
The chief minister asked government officers not to take part in any discussion with the LG without informing the minister concerned about the purpose of the meeting.
With PTI inputs
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