New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition filed by Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi seeking clarity in the administrative control of the Union Territory.
Bedi, in her plea, argued that government officers in Puducherry were caught in a bind after the apex court issued a notice on a Madras High Court order that curbed Bedi’s powers. The Supreme Court will hear the plea on Thursday.
Bedi and Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy have been at loggerheads on administrative issues ever since she assumed office in May 2016.
In the wake of the standoff, Bedi moved the Madras High Court seeking clarity on control of bureaucrats in Puducherry. The Madras High Court in its verdict on April 30, stated that the Lieutenant Governor “cannot interfere with the activities of the elected government”.
On May 10, the apex court admitted Bedi’s appeal to stay the High Court decision and issued a notice to various respondents, including the state government.
Bedi’s petition claimed that the Madras High Court had not understood the true import of the Union Territories Act.
“The High Court has virtually declared the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Puducherry to be that of a State… The high court has equated the LG of Puducherry to the LG of NCT of Delhi, despite the fact that the former enjoys greater discretionary power and has a special responsibility towards Puducherry,” the plea said.
Bedi’s counsel informed the top court that the Chief Minister had issued orders even after its May 10 notice.
Appearing for Bedi, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the Centre was willing to challenge the High Court decision and sought an urgent listing of the matter.