Confusion over functioning of bureaucracy in Puducherry, L-G Kiran Bedi tells Supreme Court

New Delhi : Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi told the Supreme Court Tuesday that confusion was prevailing over the functioning of bureaucracy due to the Madras High Court order on the issue of administrative control in the Union Territory.

Bedi has moved the apex court challenging the Madras High Court verdict which held that Puducherry Lieutenant Governor (LG) “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of the UT’s elected government.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said it will hear the plea next week.

At the outset, counsel appearing for Bedi told the bench that “there was confusion prevailing over the functioning of bureaucracy in the Union Territory since the Madras High Court verdict”.

On May 10, the apex court on pleas of Centre and Bedi had sought response from Congress MLA K Laksminarayanan, on whose plea the high court had passed the verdict on April 30.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had told the bench that the high court verdict should be stayed as governance has come to a standstill because of the order.

The high court had set aside two communications, issued in January and June 2017 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, “elevating” the powers of the administrator.

Referring to the Supreme Court judgement on the tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the high court had said that restrictions imposed on the Government of Delhi are not applicable to the Government of Puducherry.

“The administrator cannot interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the government. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister is binding on the Secretaries and other officials,” the high court had said.

Laksminarayanan had claimed in his plea before the high court that the administrator was interfering in the day-to-day administration of the territorial government, its policies and programmes.

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