Lt-Governor (L-G) Vs Puducherry Government – What is the tussle?

Lt Governor of Delhi Vs Puducherry Govt upsc ias essay

The Madras High Court has recently ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Puducherry should not interfere with the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory when an elected government is in place.

The court argued that the continued interference from the L-G would amount to running a “Parallel government”.

Notably, the Supreme Court has also given a similar verdict on Delhi Government Vs Lieutenant Governor (L-G) in July 2018.

What is the issue?

  • Kiran Bedi, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Puducherry, has been in a prolonged dispute, over the extent of powers with Chief Minister Narayanasamy.
  • The CM has claimed that the LG has been neglecting the elected government and seeking to run the UT on her own.

What is the High Court verdict?

Parallel govt: The continued interference from the L-G would mean running a “parallel government” when an elected regime is in place.

Aid and advice of Govt: The L-G is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister.

Government secretaries:

  • Should take instructions from and report to the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister.
  • Not empowered to issue orders on their own or upon the instructions of L-G.

Medium of communication:

  • The HC has also disregarded the alleged practice of government officials being part of social media L-G was giving instructions to them via these groups for redressal of public grievances.
  • The court ordered that the officials should use only the authorised medium of communication for administrative purposes.

Referring the matter to President:

  • L-G’s power to refer any matter to President to address differences does not mean “ Every Matter”.

Advice to Centre and L-G:

  • The Centre and the L-G should be true to the concept of democratic principles in order to uphold the constitutional scheme on democracy and republicanism.
  • This ruling is inspired by the Supreme Court’s earlier appeal to constitutional morality and trust among higher dignitaries.

Most probable and repeated topics of upsc prelims

What was the Supreme Court’s verdict in this regard?

  • In June 2018, Supreme Court gave its verdict in relation to the conflict between the elected government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and the Lt.Governor.
  • It ruled that the L-G should act with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • L-G has to refer the matter to the President in case that a decision on that matter has caused a difference with the Ministry.
  • Click here to learn more on Delhi Govt Vs L-G issue.

Thus both SC and the HC verdict made it clear that the Lt.Governor has no independent decision-making powers and cannot interfere with the day-to-day administration of the government.

Comparison between L-G of Delhi and L-G of Puducherry

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