SC flays TN Guv for not swearing in K. Ponmudi into cabinet

New Delhi, Mar 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on his refusal to swear in Thiru K. Ponmudi as a Minister, even though his conviction has been stayed by the Supreme Court

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud while hearing the plea of the Tamil Nadu Government which said that Governor R N Ravi refused to induct Ponmudi as minister, showed its concern at the defiance of the court order.

The bench also having Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said, “We are deeply concerned by how the Governor is acting! How can the Governor defy our orders, the CJI asked Attorney General R Venkataramani.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Tamil Nadu government informed the bench that the Governor was violating constitutional morality by not swearing in somebody who had been recommended by the Chief Minister.

The bench then asked the attorney General to seek the Governor’s response to the court orders and, “then come back tomorrow and report to us his response,” the CJI said.

During the arguments today the Tamil Nadu Government submitted, that even after the top court had categorically held that Ponmudi’s conviction was being suspended to avoid disqualification under the RP Act, 1951, the Governor was acting as if he was a super appellate authority which is a blatant violation of the apex court order.

The Governor is bound by the orders under Articles 142 & 144 of the Constitution of India, Singhvi said.

The matter pertains to an application filed by the Tamil Nadu government in the Apex Court last year over the inaction, omission, delay and failure to comply with the constitutional mandate by the Governor of Tamil Nadu to give his assent to the Bills passed and forwarded by the Tamil Nadu State Legislature to him.

The TN government further alleged that the Governor has questioned the suitability of Thiru K. Ponmudi for appointment as minister saying that he is “tainted of corruption” and that his appointment would be against “constitutional morality”.

After the apex court suspended Ponmudi’s conviction, the TN Chief Minister wrote to the Governor to swear in Ponmudi as a Minister and to allot the Higher Education portfolio to him but the Governor failed to do so defying the court orders.

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