Role of Lieutenant Governor


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Lt Governor and Governor

Mains level : Administrative differences in governance of UTs

The Madras High Court has held that the role of Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor and that of an elected government in the UT were intertwined as per law, and therefore they were expected to act in unison and not in division.

What did the court rule?

  • The government headed by the CM and the Administrator/Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry shall work in unison and not in division.
  • The Madras HC set aside a single bench judgment that had held that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) does not have the right to interfere in the daily affairs of the elected government of Puducherry.
  • The HC has held that the Administrator is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers in matters where the Legislative Assembly is competent to enact laws.
  • This power of Assembly is contemplated under Section 44 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1962.

How is Puducherry different from other UTs?

  • UT of Puducherry is headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry as its nominal head, with a democratically elected CM as real head of the executive.
  • Other union territories don’t have an elected government and legislative assembly.
  • Puducherry, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir (newly formed UT) are the three territories which have democratically elected governments like Indian states.
  • The State legislatures were a creation of the Constitution, whereas the UT legislatures were created under a law such as the Government of UTs Act, 1963.
  • The constitutional provisions, the 1963 Act as well as the Rules of Business of the Government of Puducherry lay expect the Lieutenant Governor to act as a bridge between the local government and the Centre.
  • The Administrator is expected to play the role of an umpire whenever there was a disagreement between the Lieutenant Governor and the Council of Ministers.

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