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Current Affairs

Tussle Between Lt Governor and Chief Minister of Puducherry

Kiran Bedi, Lt Governor Puducherry

Government of Puducherry is headed by the Lieutenant Governor as its nominal head, with a democratically elected Chief Minister as real head of the executive.

The Madras High Court ruled that the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Puducherry could not interfere with the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory when an elected government was in place. The court said incessant interference from the L-G would amount to running a “parallel government.”

Puducherry is a union territory which is governed by Article 239A of the Constitution.NCT of Delhi, meanwhile, is governed by Article 239AA of the Constitution which imposes restrictions on the law-making power of the elected legislature of Delhi. Delhi’s elected government cannot make laws concerning public order, police and land rights. This is not the case with Puducherry.

According to 239A which governs the administration of Puducherry, the administrator (LG) does not have power to promulgate any ordinance in Puducherry.

According to Article 240, even the rights of the President of India is curtailed to the point that he/she cannot issue ordinances to suit their whims and fancies.

The Puducherry legislature is the creation of a parliamentary law, based on an enabling provision in Article 239A of the Constitution, whereas the NCT legislature has been created by the Constitution itself under Article 239AA.

Another issue that was flagged with the court was the practice of Kiran Bedi giving instructions on WhatsApp groups to officials. According to service rules, they were bound to use only authorised medium of communication when it came to issues relating to administration.

Although the existence of a Governor was debated in the Constituent Assembly and critics exist for his role but, the Governor and Lt Governor play a pivotal role in running the constitutional machinery of states and Union Territories especially during a crisis situation. The Central government as well as the Administrator should be true to the concept of democratic principles.

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