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Madras High Court judgement on L-G role in Puducherry administration (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance)

L-G not to interfere in day to day administration
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.”

Rationale behind the judgement
High Court judge said: “The Central government as well as the Administrator [the term used in the Constitution to refer to the L-G] should be true to the concept of democratic principles. Otherwise, the constitutional scheme of the country of being democratic and republic would be defeated.”

The judge made it clear that government secretaries were bound to take instructions from the Ministers and the Council of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister.

The court also disapproved of the alleged practice of government officials being part of social media groups through which the L-G was issuing instructions to them for redress of public grievances and reminded them that as per rules, they were bound to use only authorised medium of communication when it came to issues related to administration.

Difference in administration of Delhi and Pudducherry
Madras High Court pointed out the significant differences in the powers conferred on the legislatures of Puducherry and Delhi under Articles 239A and 239AA of the Constitution.

The court ruled that though Article 239AA imposes several restrictions on the legislature of Delhi, no such restrictions had been imposed explicitly in the case of Puducherry under Article 239A.

“The above Article symbolises the supremacy of the Legislature above the Administrator in case of the Union Territory of Puducherry.”

(Adapted from The Hindu)



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