Published On: Tue, Jun 4th, 2019
Spotlight | ByIANS

SC issues notice to Puducherry CM on turf war

New Delhi: In a new twist to the turf war in Puducherry, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and directed that any cabinet decision involving financial implication or land transfer cannot be implemented till the next date of hearing.

The next date of hearing in the apex court is June 21

A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Indu Malhotra said the cabinet meeting set for June 7 in Puducherry could take a decision on these issues, but these cannot be implemented.

The next date of hearing in the apex court is June 21. The court ordered the Chief Minister to be impleaded as a party and that notice be sent to him.

On May 28, the top court agreed to hear a petition filed by Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi seeking clarity on the administrative control of the Union Territory.

In her plea, Bedi argued that government officers in Puducherry were caught in a bind after the apex court issued a notice, on a Madras High Court order that curbed Bedi’s powers.

On May 10, the top court had sought response from K Laksminarayanan, a Congress MLA , a petitioner in the high court on the pleas filed by Bedi and the Centre.

The Additional Solicitor Generals (ASGs) Aman Lekhi and ANS Nadkarni, representing Centre and Bedi, told the court that it should consider granting the relief. If circumstances existing before the high court’s verdict are not restored, then it will become a major roadblock in UT administration, they said.

The counsels submitted the agenda of Cabinet meeting, initially slated on June 3, but adjourned it to June 7. They told the court that the items on the agenda are likely to have financial implications and that if implemented, the main petitions moved before the top court against the Madras High Court verdict would become infructuous.

Senior advocates P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal, counsels for Laksminarayan who moved the high court, opposed the proposed view on the cabinet agenda, and informed the court that a bench headed by Chief Justice did not grant any stay on the high court’s verdict.

“Till the next date of hearing of the present application, it is directed that any decision in the Cabinet meeting to be convened on June 7 having financial implication/implications or with respect to any transfer of the lands shall not be implemented”, said the court.

Passing the order, the court also observed that the main petitioner in the Madras High Court may file their counter to the application filed by the LG seeking interim relief.

The court observed that senior counsels appearing on behalf of Laksminarayan “have stated at the Bar that till the matter is heard, no contempt proceedings shall be initiated to implement the impugned judgement and order passed by the high court.”

The Madras High Court on April 30 had allowed a petition by Congress MLA to junk the two communications issued in January and June 2017 regarding the elevation of powers of the administrator by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

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