PUDUCHERRY: The Supreme Court ruling with regard to the powers of Lt Governor(LG) and Chief minister(CM) of Delhi, seems to havecome as a shot in the arm for the Congress government in the UT of Puducherry, which has been fighting a similar turf war with the Lt Governor.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed a judgement that the LG does not have independent decision-making powers in Delhi and the real power must lie with the elected government has made Chief Minister V Narayanasamy jubilant. "The Lt Governor is an administrator in a limited sense and is not the Governor. He is bound by the advice of cabinet in matters other than those exempted." the court said.
Though there is no clarity whether the SC's ruling would be applicable to Puducherry, yet welcoming the judgement, an elated Chief minister said that the SC' judgement will be cent percent applicable to Puducherry as it based on the fundamental apostles of democracy and constitutional provisions."
Whatever I have been insisting upon in the past two years that the Lt. Governor does not have any special independent powers and she should function as per the advise of the elected government has been reflected in the Supreme Court's judgement", said Narayanasamy.
The chief minister threatened to be the first person to file a contempt of court petition if 'anyone' violated the supreme court ruling in this regard in an apparent reference to Kiran Bedi. The supreme court has upheld the peoples governance policy, he said adding that problems cropped up on 'intervention' of the LG into the powers of the ministers.
Though UT of Puducherry is different from NCT Delhi, yet like Delhi it is a UT with a Legislative Assembly.
Unlike Delhi where anything related to land, police and public order is not under the purview of the Delhi administration, in
Puducherry it comes under the territorial administration. "Therefore the elected government in Puducherry is vested with more powers than Delhi", he said. As far as Puducherry is concerned all powers have come to the legislative assembly immediately after the first session following elections, observed chief minister quoting article 239A of the constitution.
Stating that the constitutional provisions are very clear, Narayanasamy (a practicing advocate before plunging into a political career) denied any power struggle and said that he had been insisting that LG abided by constitutional provisions.
As many as 19 times he had written to the Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi in this regard. But had not received reply and neither did she change her ways, but continued her interference in the day to day administration and returning files with queries again and again.
The chief minister said that the cabinet decisions should be forwarded to the Lt. Governor but the latter could not make changes or alter it. " She cannot even though 'touch it'", said Narayanasamy. The supreme court has ruled that the Lt. Governor does not have powers to stall the people welfare schemes of an elected government , he said that those 'appointed" should not try to grab the powers of the elected representatives.
The CM who was sore with Bedi for running a parallel government by holding official meeting at Raj Nivas on a daily basis, observed that the LG does not have any powers to invite officials to the Rajnivas and convene meetings and take decisions and this should stop.
If clarification is necessary on any files sent to her, she could call the concerned Secretary and discuss matters, but the secretary need to first discuss the matter with the concerned minister before meeting the LG, he said.
Already a circular was issued directing the Secretaries to the government to bring to the notice of the Chief Minister and concerned ministers all communications from Government of India and intimate the ministers before meeting LG.
However, he said that the LG got powers to visit different areas, but could not issue independent orders. However, the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was not available for comment.
Neither Leader of Opposition N Ramgasamy wished to comment. Legal luminaries also wanted to go through the contents of the judgement before commenting whether it would be applicable to Puducherry.
Meanwhile, the case filed by Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister K Lakshminarayanan in High court against the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi's 'interference ' in administration which was put on hold by the Judge till Supreme Court delivers it verdict on the Delhi case is to come up on Friday.