Madras HC reserves orders on maintainability of writ of quo warranto filed against T.N. Governor R.N. Ravi

Litigant claims that the post of Chairman, Board of Governors, Auroville Foundation, is an office of profit and therefore the Governor suffers disqualification on account of holding that post too

December 15, 2022 08:16 pm | Updated 08:16 pm IST - CHENNAI

The petition was filed by M. Kannadasan of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam 

The petition was filed by M. Kannadasan of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam 

The Madras High Court on Thursday reserved orders on the question of maintainability of a writ of quo warranto filed against Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi questioning the authority under which he is holding the office while simultaneously serving as the chairman of the Board of Governors of Auroville Foundation in Puducherry.

First Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy deferred their verdict, without mentioning any date for pronouncement of orders, after hearing arguments advanced by advocate S. Doraisamy, assisted by V. Elangovan, for the writ petitioner M. Kannadasan of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK).

The High Court Registry had listed the unnumbered case before the Division Bench for deciding its maintainability since the Governor had been listed as the third respondent to the writ petition by name. The Union of India represented by the Home Ministry and the Chief Secretary to the State government were the first two respondents.

Presenting his case before the Bench, Mr. Doraisamy said the President had issued a warrant on September 9, 2021 appointing Mr. Ravi as the Governor of Tamil Nadu and that the latter assumed office on September 18, 2021. On October , 2021, the Union Ministry of Education appointed him as chairman of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation.

Section 13 of the Auroville Foundation Act of 1988 states that the chairman of the Governing Board would be entitled to salary, allowances and such conditions of service in respect of leave, pension, provident fund and so on as fixed by the Centre from time to time. “Therefore, the post of chairman of the foundation is an office of profit,” the counsel claimed.

Further, he referred to Article 158(2) of the Constitution which states that the Governor of a State should not hold any other office of profit and contended that Mr. Ravi suffers disqualification on account of holding the office of chairman of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation too.

When the Acting Chief Justice asked the counsel to first address the Bench on any precedents of the courts having issued notice to the Governor in any case, especially in the light of the immunity provided under Article 361 of the Constitution, Mr. Doraisamy said immunity had been provided only for acts done in exercise of powers and duties.

The counsel argued that the Governor had been made as a respondent to the present writ petition by name and not by office and therefore Article 361 would not come in the way of issuing a notice to him on the plea for quo warranto. He also cited a few judgments on the issue after which the judges reserved orders.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.