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Bedi says Raj Nivas not getting govt files for approval

PTI | Puducherry | Updated: 18-05-2019 01:31 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 18:50 IST
Bedi says Raj Nivas not getting govt files for approval
Image Credit: Twitter (@thekiranbedi)

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, whose 'powers' have been curtailed by the court for 'interfering' in the functioning of the territorial government, Friday said her office has not received files from it for days now. In a Whatsapp message to media persons here, Bedi said her office 'has received no files relating to either service matters of the staff or those relating to financial approvals for several days now.'.

She said she feared "this would have an impact on the routine working of the administration and thereby the people of Puducherry.". The former IPS officer further said the officials were trying to trace the files and that she had to tell them that the files were not with Raj Nivas, the office of the Lieutenant governor.

She voiced her concern over the officials running from office to office 'to track the matter and we do not know where the files are, be it service matters or files requiring financial approvals as per the law governing the Union Territory administration and the Business Rules which are still in force and have not been amended.' She maintained that the lieutenant governor or the administrator of the union territory was for the people. Therefore, she said, "It is my duty to inform the people of the union territory that the lieutenant governor`s office has not been receiving for the last several days any file from the government." Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy have been at loggerheads on administrative issues ever since she assumed office in May 2016.

The Chief Minister had been consistently saying that the Lieutenant governor had no powers to function independently of the elected government. Also, he had drawn the attention of the Union Home Ministry bringing to the Centre's notice the unenviable predicament of the government here with Bedi taking a negative stand on almost all administrative matters, but to no avail.

A writ petition was filed by the Congress legislator K Lakshminarayanan last year protesting the interference of the Lieutenant governor in the routine activities of the government. The Madras High Court, in its verdict on April 30, stated that the Lieutenant governor 'can not interfere with the activities of the elected government.' Also, the court set aside the two communications of the Union Home Ministry issued in January and June 2017 elevating the powers of the lieutenant governor.

The court held that the lieutenant governor should not interfere in the activities of the government which would be tantamount to having a parallel government. In the wake of the verdict, the Chief Minister was maintaining that the officials should also adhere to the verdict that the elected government's decisions should be acted upon lest they face contempt of court.

The Centre, in the meanwhile, has preferred an appeal in the supreme court over the Madras High Court verdict curbing the powers of the Lieutenant governor.


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