Madras HC upholds nomination of three Puducherry MLAs by Kiran Bedi

Madras HC upholds nomination of three Puducherry MLAs by Kiran Bedi

Chennai: More than eight months after Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi sparked off a mini constitutional crisis in the Union territory by nominating three MLAs without the recommendation of the chief minister, the Madras high court on Thursday upheld their nominations.
The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar delivered two separate, but concurring, judgments upholding the nomination made by the lieutenant governor.
Consequently, it also struck down as invalid the assembly secretary’s letter refusing to allow the three MLAs to attend the sessions.
The MLAs, all belonging to the territorial unit of the BJP, could not enter the assembly all these days as the speaker had refused to swear them in and administer oath of office to them.
Public interest litigations had been filed in the Madras high court, both for and against the nominations.
While Congress MLA and former minister K Lakshminarayanan sought to restrain the Centre from filling the vacancies and quash the nominations, the three MLAs — V Saminathan, KG Shankar and S Selvaganapathi — challenged the notice issued by the Puducherry assembly secretary refusing them permission to attend House proceedings.
Lakshminarayanan had said that their nomination was void as it was in contravention of the constitutional provisions and made by an “incompetent authority”. The BJP functionaries were “nominated through the backdoor” by violating constitutional provisions, he said.
According to the Union Territories Act, 1963, the Centre could “nominate not more than three persons, not being persons in the service of government, to be members of the legislative assembly.”