Chennai, June 19 (BPNS)
Advocate ML Ravi of Desiya Makkal Shakthi Katchi, a political party in Tamil Nadu has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Madras High Court against Senthil Balaji continuing as a minister in the Stalin cabinet without portfolio.
The advocate in his petition questioned the propriety in Senthil Balaji continuing in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio even after he was in judicial custody in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The petitioner urged the Madras High Court to quash a press release issued by the Director of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) on June 16 stating that Senthil Balaji would continue as a minister in the Stalin cabinet without his portfolios including Electricity, Excise and Prohibition. These portfolios have been allocated to two other ministers in the cabinet.
Advocate Ravi pointed out that the DIPR press release was issued within hours after the Raj Bhavan had issued a communique stating that the Governor RN Ravi was agreeable to divest the portfolios of Senthil Balaji and hand it over to two other ministers. However the communique clearly stated that the Governor was not in favour of the minister continuing in the cabinet.
The litigant pointed out that as per Article 164 of the constitution, ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor, how could the Tamil Nadu government go against the will of the Governor and allow a person in judicial custody to continue as a minister?
The petitioner stated that the continuation of the minister in the cabinet was unjust and unwarranted.