Puducherry government cannot decide nominated members: SC

New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedis decision to nominate three members to the Assembly holding that the government of Union Territory has no role in the nomination of members.

The central government had on June 23, 2017 issued a notification nominating V. Saminathan, K.G. Shankar and S. Selvaganapathy as members of the Puducherry Assembly.

The apex court said the Lt Governor had the power to nominate MLAs. The Congress had challenged the decision of Bedi to nominate the MLAs saying she should have consulted the Puducherry government.

“We are of the clear opinion that nomination in the Legislative Assembly of Puducherry is not the business of the government of Puducherry. It is a business of central government,” said a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer.

“When the Constitution itself empowers Parliament to frame law to create a body, which may be partly nominated and partly elected … we fail to see how the law made by Parliament or nominations made by the Central government breaches the principles of federalism,” said Justice Bhushan, speaking for the bench.

The court said this in response to the contention that nominations should have been made in consultation with the Puducherry government. The petitioner K. Lakshminarayanan and other by S. Dhanalakshmi had raised this contention citing the constitutional conventions and the principle of federalism.

Rejecting the contention that the nomination to the legislative assembly had to be made with the concurrence of the Puducherry government, the court said: “…We fail to see any substance in the argument … that the nomination made by the Central government, federal principle or principle of cooperative federalism has been violated.”

The court also rejected the contention that the nominated members can’t vote on Finance Bill and motion of no-confidence.