PUDUCHERRY:THE stand-off between Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on transferring and putting the Puducherry municipal commissioner on compulsory wait took a new turn on Wednesday with Bedi referring it to the Centre for legal opinion.
While Narayanasamy is claiming that the transfer can’t be revoked since it was effected after Speaker V Vaithilingam’s ruling, Bedi argued that she alone was the competent authority to transfer and post officers under Rule 47. In other words, she had the final say, no matter what the Speaker ruled. Chief Secretary Manoj Parida violated the rule by acting on the Speaker’s ruling, she charged.
For his part, the Speaker claimed that his ruling was final.
“The post of the Lt Governor of the Union Territory is not a constitutional post, but an administrative one. The powers of a Governor are not vested with the L-G, he said. But the powers of the Speaker in any State or Union Territory are the same, claimed.
Addressing the media on Wednesday Bedi said, “I have asked the government of India to steps in and provide legal opinion and resolve the matter through the office of the Attorney General.”
She has also written to the Union home secretary for initiating disciplinary action against Parida. “He now needs to be proceeded against departmentally by the ministry of home affairs, his appointing authority,” said Bedi.
It all began after then municipal commissioner R Chandrasekaran called a meeting on Swachh Bharat activities in Sudhana Nagar, which is part of AIADMK legislator A Bhaskar’s constituency, without inviting him. Bhaskar made it a matter of privilege in the Assembly, which was how it snowballed into a major controversy.
But Bedi maintained that a public servant does not need to call the local legislator for discharging his duties. It was the Commissioner’s duty to get garbage and cesspools cleared; he does not need prior approval of the MLA, she emphasised.
“There is no illegality in not informing the MLA. The MLA can guide and support the commissioner. Instead he obstructed a public servant from discharging his duty,” she said, warning that a case can be filed against the MLA.
The L-G brushed aside an all-party delegation’s plan to visit Delhi to petition the President, prime minister and home minister against her style of functioning, saying they were free to go and have a right to be heard.
Meanwhile Bedi’s secretary G Theva Neethi Dhas, who is facing charges of contempt, appeared before the privilege committee of the Assembly. He was directed to furnish his reply by April 19.