Published On: Thu, Jul 19th, 2018

Puducherry has no control over ‘services’, officers are of separate cadre: Centre to SC

New Delhi: The Centre today told the Supreme Court that Puducherry being a Union Territory has no control over “services” and its officers belong to a separate cadre controlled by the central government.

Attorney General K K Venugopal

A bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan was told by Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal, appearing for Centre, that it is the Union of India that exercises control through its representative or administrator on the Union Territory (UT).

“As far as services are concerned they have a special cadre of officers and not the All India cadre of IAS or IPS. The officers are from separate cadres like the Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS),” the AG said.

The Centre is leaving no stone unturned to buttress its stand and has decided to field three senior advocates Harish Salve, C Aryaman Sundaram and Rakesh Dwivedi to defend it in the matters related to disputes with the Delhi government, including that of control over services.

The bench was hearing pleas filed by two Congress leaders S Dhanalakshmi and K Lakshminarayanan, challenging the “unilateral” decision of the Centre to appoint the three BJP members as MLAs in the assembly.

The Congress leaders have challenged the Madras high court decision of March 22 by which it had upheld the nomination of BJP members V Saminathan, K G Shankar and S Selvaganapathy to the Assembly by the Centre and their swearing-in by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on July 4 last year, over which the Congress government had protested.

It had also held as invalid the speaker’s order cancelling the nominations of the MLAs.

Venugopal during the hearing before the apex court said that as per the Constitutional scheme every UT shall be administrated through the President and its delegatee who can be an administrator or the lieutenant governor (L-G).

He said, “It is not a federal unit which could function independent of the central government. It has no autonomy or autonomous powers”.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Centre in a notification has said lawyers Salve, Sundaram and Dwivedi will defend it in the matters related to the disputes with the Delhi government.

Yesterday, the Delhi government had told the apex court that its functioning is “completely paralysed” and it can’t order transfer or posting of officers despite the recent Constitution bench verdict on the national capital’s administration.

The court said it is in the knowhow of things and the matter will be taken on July 26 for hearing.

“Functioning of the government is completely paralysed. We cannot post officers, we cannot transfer officers despite the recent constitution bench verdict which has explained every aspect. These issues needs to be adjudicated at the earliest,” senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for the Delhi government had said.

A five-judge Constitution bench had recently laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a power struggle between the Centre and Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in 2014.

The bench had clarified that issues regarding various notifications issued by the Delhi government in exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt with separately by an appropriate smaller bench.


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