We’re going to take serious view: SC rebukes TN Guv for refusing to administer oath to Ponmudi as minister

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday took strong exception to Tamil Nadu Governor’s refusal to administer the oath to K Ponmudi as a minister in the state Cabinet.

“What is your Governor doing? The conviction of a minister has been stayed by the Supreme Court and the Governor says that ‘I will not swear him in.’ You tell the Governor that we will have to make some observations now. Please tell the Governor that we are going to take a very serious view of it,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI), DY Chandrachud, told Attorney General (AG), R Venkataramani, the highest law officer of the Centre.

“How could the Governor say – after the Supreme Court has stayed the conviction – that his re-induction is against constitutional morality? We give time to the Governor till tomorrow. Mr. Attorney General, if we don’t hear from you in a positive manner tomorrow, we will pass an order directing the Governor to act in accordance with the Constitution. We want to avoid that situation by giving the Governor an opportunity to set the constitutional position right,” added the Bench, also comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

AG Venkataramani said that he was not justifying the Governor’s action and would come back after looking into the file and having a word with Governor RN Ravi.

He wondered if the relief sought could be granted in an interlocutory application filed by the state government in a pending writ petition filed against the Governor.

Posting the matter for hearing on Friday, CJI Chandrachud said, “Mr. Attorney General, we are seriously concerned about the conduct of the Governor in the state. This is not the way because he is defying the Supreme Court of India. The two-judge Bench of the SC stayed the conviction. The Governor has no business to tell us that this does not wipe out the conviction and is non-existent.

“The Governor better be informed that when the Supreme Court of India has stayed the conviction, the law has to follow its course. We are deeply concerned with the manner in which this matter has proceeded at the level of Governor.”

Former Higher Education Minister, K Ponmudi, had to relinquish his post after the Madras High Court convicted him in a Disproportionate Assets case in December last year.

The Supreme Court later stayed his conviction, following which Chief Minister, MK Stalin, sent a request to the Raj Bhavan for re-inducting Ponmudi as a minister in the state Cabinet. However, Governor RN Ravi refused to administer the oath of office to Ponmudi.



Back to top button