INDIA. Puducherry: Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been sworn-in as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, at a function in Raj Nivas today.
Soundararajan has been posted as Lt Governor in-charge after President Ram Nath Kovind ordered Kiran Bedi’s removal from the post of Lieutenant-Governor (LG) of Puducherry on Tuesday.
The abrupt removal of Bedi by the president came as a shock due to the lack of a valid and compelling reason and the absence of a speaking order from the president. Meanwhile, there have been speculations about the intention of this stance.
According to the reports, Bedi is staying in Raj Nivas and would leave Puducherry for Delhi in the next few days.
Article 156 (1) says that the governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. It states that they shall remain in office for a term of five years from the date of appointment, barring resignation by the governor or withdrawal by the president. The President’s order meant that he had withdrawn his pleasure under this article.
In B.P Singhal v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held: the power of removing governors cannot be exercised in an arbitrary manner and the court can require the Central government to produce evidence on the basis of which the decision was made in order to verify the presence of compelling reasons.
According to the Sarkaria Commission (1998), governors must not be removed before completing their five-year tenure, except in rare and compelling circumstances. In case of such rare circumstances, the commission said that the procedure of removal must allow the governors an opportunity to explain their conduct, and the Central government must give fair treatment to such an explanation. The governors also need to be informed of the grounds of their removal.
Former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Bedi has said her successor Tamilisai Soundararajan is a learned and experienced person and that the Union Territory would benefit much
The Puducherry chief minister V. Narayanasamy had been seeking Bedi’s removal from the office of LG in light of serious differences between him and her. However, if the abovementioned serves as a valid reason, the President should make his order a “speaking order” rather than leaving things unanswered, to be inferred by the general public. The decision of Bedi’s removal has grave implications for India’s federalism, questioning the Center’s powers and arbitrariness in decision-making.