The Madras High Court on Friday admitted a PIL seeking recall of Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi for undue interference in running the government.
However, in a significant development, Chief Justice Indira Banerjee recused herself from hearing the case to ensure that there’s no impropriety in the hearing given that she had on occasion, officially interacted with the LG, reported Bar and Bench.
Recusing herself from the case, Justice Banerjee said that occasions may arise and she may be in touch with the Lt Governor in Raj Bhavan in her official capacity and it may not be proper to hear the petition.
A report by PTI said that the first bench comprising the chief justice and Justice Abdul Quddhose posted the matter before the division bench of justices CT Selvam and N Sathishkumar.
The PIL, filed by one T Murugan, a CPI local committee member, alleged that Bedi never respected the Constitution of India “by recognition of separation of powers” and the procedures prescribed under it since she assumed office as the LG. The petitioner also alleged that Bedi interfered with the judiciary, the legislature and the executive and sought a direction to the Union home ministry for recalling her.
Bedi’s relationship with the Congress chief minister, V Narayanasamy, has been a subject of controversy since her appointment. Last year in June, Narayanasamy had accused Bedi of paralysing the administration by making derogatory remarks against the MLAs, ministry and officials through social media. Narayansamy had also reportedly approached the president and the Union home minister over Bedi “interfering” in matters of governance.
Bedi was projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Delhi assembly polls in February 2015. But not only did she lose her own seat, she led her party to one of its worst defeats. The BJP’s tally was reduced to three in the 70-member Delhi assembly.