Polity & Governance Prelims cum Mains

Article 239A allows greater powers for Puducherry House

#UT’s Administration | #NCT Power Tussle | #Puducherry Governor

Article 239A allows greater powers for Puducherry House

The News

      • The Madras High Court has recently ruled that the Lieutenant Governor cannot interfere in the daily affairs of an elected government in Puducherry.


Important Articles

      • Article 239 is concerned with administration of Union territories
      • Article 239A: Puducherry is a union territory which is governed by Article 239A of the Constitution.
      • Article 239AA: Article 239AA of the Constitution of India granted Special Status to Delhi among Union Territories (UTs) in the year 1991 through 69th constitutional amendment by the Parliament.


Article 239AA v/s 239 A

      • According to Article 239AA, the elected legislature of NCT of Delhi cannot enact laws relating to entries 1, 2 and 18 of the state list.
      • It means that Delhi’s elected government cannot make laws concerning public order, police and land rights.
      • However, Article 239A gives the discretion to Parliament to create a Council of Ministers which may perform the functions of a legislature.
      •  This means that Puducherry has the power to legislate on all subjects including law and order and land.
      •  The administrator (LG) does not have power to promulgate any ordinance in Puducherry. Even if LG does it, it will not stand if the Legislative Assembly decides to disapprove it.
      • This emphasizes the supremacy of the legislature over the administrator in Puducherry, unlike the restrictions on the government of NCT Delhi.


Government of Puducherry

      • The Government of Puducherry is a democratically elected body that governs the Union Territory of Puducherry with a democratically elected Chief Minister as real head of the executive.
      • It is headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry as its nominal head, which is appointed by the President for a term of five years.


Note: Puducherry and National Capital Territory of Delhi are the two territories which have democratically elected governments like Indian states.


News Summary

      • There was a longstanding tussle between the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi and the government of Puducherry over complaints of Kiran Bedi interfering in the functioning of the government.
      • A plea was filed in the Madras High Court against the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi for acting to run a “parallel government” in Puducherry.
      • The Madras High Court has recently ruled that the elected government of the Union Territory generally assumes supremacy over the Lieutenant Governor.
      • Therefore, the Lieutenant Governor could not interfere with the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory when an elected government was in place.
      • The Court also quashed the two clarifications issued by the Union Home Ministry in 2017 with regard to the powers of the L-G, as those communications had been issued without reference to the constitutional provisions and other laws.
      • The verdict of the Court meant at least a temporary end to the longstanding tussle.


Prelims Addon InDepth
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