Rule of law at peril in Puducherry: Kiran Bedi
Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi has approached the Supreme Court requesting it to maintain status quo as it existed prior to the April 30 Madras high court verdict that curtailed her administrative powers.
Bedi has said, though the top court has already admitted her appeal against the high court order and issued notice on it, the bureaucrats in the Union Territory were being threatened with contempt action that is leading to administrative chaos there.
A vacation bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi agreed to give a hearing to Bedi’s application next week after solicitor general Tushar Mehta mentioned it on her behalf.
“The officers are in a quandary as to whether to implement the directions of the Hon’ble High Court or otherwise. That the officers are being threatened of contempt action is leading to an administrative chaos, hence the urgency”, the application stated. “Rule of law is at peril under the threat of contempt,” she said.
LG Bedi has been at loggerheads with the Congress government in Puducherry, with the latter accusing her of taking unilateral decisions without consulting it.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in power, had faced a similar situation and the case had reached the top court.
The high court had on April 30 ruled that the elected government of the Union Territory “generally assumes supremacy over the Lieutenant Governor”, as it quashed two communications made by the ministry of home affairs in January and June 2017.
The court found the two communiqués of having “undermined the power of the Legislative Assembly and elevated the power of the Administrator, though not exactly available under the applicable laws”