Clash comes to an end

The judgment of the Madras high court restraining Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi from interfering in the day to day affairs of the administration has put an end to the clashes between Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and the Lt Governor.

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.” There was bad blood between the two right from the beginning.

Chief Minister Narayanasamy had accused Bedi of not approving the proposals passed in the assembly and of interfering into the day-to-day administration of the union territory. She issued orders without consulting the chief minister.

She conducted review meetings also. The central government by an order issued on 27 January 2017 empowered Kiran Bedi to demand official files, hold review meetings and to interfere in the administrative matters.

Being the first woman DGP, Kiran Bedi was a role model for other IPS officers. Being honest and straight forward, she earned the good will of the public. After she ventured into politics she became a professional politician.

She started summoning officials, holding review meetings, taking unilateral decisions on administrative matters and this was resented by the chief minister who went on a fasting also condemning her dictatorial way of administering the union territory.

But she was not budging and changing her style of functioning. Congress MLA K Lakshminarayanan filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court against Kiran Bedi.

The High Court which heard the writ petition had laid down very clearly that the Lt Governor had no powers to act independently and that she must work “in tandem with the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.”

The Madras High Court held that the Lt Governor “cannot interfere in the day-to-day activities of the elected government in the union territory.”

This verdict has become a lesson for Kiran Bedi. But will she climb down from her stand is the million dollar question that is looming large.

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