Annulling SEC appointment: Kiran Bedi’s order declared void by CM

The fresh order comes amid sharp differences between the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister.

Updated - November 28, 2021 11:55 am IST

Published - January 05, 2020 03:44 pm IST - Puducherry

Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy. File

Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy. File

Clearing the ground for a major showdown between the Government and the Raj Nivas, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy has issued an order declaring as “illegal” and henceforth “null and void” a previous order of Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi annulling the appointment of State Election Commissioner T.M. Balakrishnan.

“The appointment of State Election Commissioner of Puducherry is an executive action but his removal can only be through a legislative action as referred in Article 243 K, 243 L & 243- ZB of the Constitution of India, Sec 9(A) of Puducherry Village and Commune Panchayat Act and 15 (A) of Puducherry Municipalities Act,” the order said.

The fresh order comes amid sharp differences between the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister on the status of the SEC appointment and after a recent direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to appoint the SEC after “due process” and in a transparent manner.

While Ms. Bedi claimed that this was an endorsement of her order cancelling the appointment as the MHA had directed the Chief Secretary to select an officer by an open selection and not nomination as done by the Chief Minister, the Chief Minister had categorically ruled out any going back on the appointment as the MHA, in its order, has not cancelled the appointment.

“The incumbent SEC was appointed after the Speaker gave the right to the elected government to appoint the poll officer. MHA has not cancelled the appointment. Moreover, the MHA or Lieutenant Governor have no power to remove an SEC,” he had told a recent press meet.

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