Transfer order of top municipal official is invalid, alleges Kiran Bedi

Puducherry : Hours after Pondicherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy termed the assembly speaker’s ruling over replacing a top civic official as “final”, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi again said the transfer order was invalid. She said an officer appointed by the Lt Governor can be removed only by the Lt Governor.

“The order of transfer of Municipal Commissioner of Puducherry is not a small administrative routine matter. It is of an officer appointed by the Lt Governor who could be removed only by the Lt Governor,” she said in a press release.

She reiterated that the transfer order was invalid. Bedi said the chief minister was taking responsibility for the transfer order as “he now knows that the chief secretary is vulnerable to departmental action for violation of rules”.

She also pointed out that the chief secretary had done so despite her warning through e-mail a day before he issued the order.

Bedi said under the Business Rules, the Legislature is not empowered to make appointments. The chief minister could propose names for transfers and postings but the final decision is of the Lt Governor as per Rule 47, she said.

“There are many of such propositions I have accepted or declined and they are all a matter of record,” Bedi said. “If the chief minister and his ministers have anything to say now, they are free to approach the Government of India or the higher courts and seek clarification,” she said.

“As of now I have fulfilled my responsibility as laid down under the rules and also endorsed by the Union Home Ministry,” she said. Narayanasamy had earlier said the ruling was final on replacement of Municipal Commissioner R Chandrasekaran, an issue over which Bedi has locked horns with the government.

Bedi had then too termed as “invalid” the replacement of Chandrasekaran based on a ruling of Speaker V Vaithilingam on March 30 and said she was the “competent authority” on officials’ service matters.

The Speaker had ordered replacement of the Commissioner after an opposition AIADMK MLA raised a Privilege issue against him. PTI