The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Congress leader K Laksminarayanan after hearing Puducherry Lieutanant Governor Kiran Bedi’s special leave petition challenging the Madras High Court order that restricted her authority to act independently of the elected government in the Union Territory led by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Live Law reported. Laksminarayanan had filed the plea in High Court alleging Bedi was running a “parallel government” in Puducherry, according to The Indian Express.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented Bedi and the Centre, told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that governance in the Union Territory had come to a standstill, IANS reported. The Centre had sought an urgent hearing in the matter on Wednesday.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had ruled in April that in matters of finance, administration and service matters, Bedi could only act on the advice of the council of ministers. The court had said that she does not have powers to act in the daily activities.
In response to clarifications sought by Bedi two years ago, the Centre had said the lieutenant governor has powers to act independently and is not bound by the council of ministers. The clarifications were issued amid a tussle between Bedi and Narayanasamy over the administration of Puducherry. The lieutenant governor and the Congress government have been at odds since she assumed office in 2016. Narayanasamy and the Congress have also accused Bedi of delaying clearance to welfare schemes and for bypassing the elected government.
In February, Narayanasamy had held a six-day sit-in protest outside Bedi’s official residence demanding her removal over several matters, including the rule of making helmet wearing mandatory for motorists.