Pondy assembly summons top govt official over 'breach of

The Puducherry Assembly today served a notice on a top government official for "breach of privilege,"for seeking the release of salaries and other allowances to three nominated MLAs.

The privilege committee of the assembly served the notice to Under Secretary M Kannan for his December 26 letter to the Assembly Secretary, seeking disbursement of salaries, allowances and other entitlements to the three MLAs.

The nomination of the three MLAs belonging to BJP, by the Centre, had triggered a controversy after the Congress-led government said it was in violation of constitutional provisions and democratic norms.

Last month, Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam had rejected the nomination saying it was made by "incompetent authority and without jurisdiction and in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution and the Government of Union Territories Act 1963 and hence the nominations are void."

The privilege notice was served in the wake ofa petitionfrom the government whip, R K R Anandaraman seeking action against the official.

The summons by Secretary to the Assembly, Vincent Rayar, directed Kannan to appear before the committee and submit his explanation on January 2, official sources said.

Lt Governor Kiran Bedi had on July 4 inducted the three members -- V Saminathan, BJP's Puducherry unit president, K G Shankar (its treasurer) and S Selvaganapathy (an educationist) -- as nominated members into the Puducherry Assembly, following an order by the Union Home Ministry.

Anandaraman also pointed out in his petition to the Speaker that a case challenging the Speaker's order filed by the nominated MLAs was pending in the Madras High Court.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)