Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan reacts to uproar over Banwarilal Purohit's meeting with officials, says no illegality in Guv's visits

Chennai: Amid the ongoing tussle between Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Opposition DMK over the former's visits to districts, the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday cited legal opinion to insist there was no illegality in his actions. "The executive powers of the state are vested in him. In fact, the same powers are available to the State which are available to Governor," said a statement from Raj Bhavan citing the opinion of former Advocate General of Maharashtra Shreehari Aney.

Purohit had sought Aney's advice in November 2017 after DMK raised objection following the governor's visit to Coimbatore to meet district officials. Aney cited constitutional provisions to say there was no illegality on Purohit's part and advised him to ignore allegations of his interference at the behest of Central Government.

"It is a bald allegation unsupported by facts and whatsoever. In this absence of any factual basis, the allegation can and should be ignored," Aney said.

File image of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. PTI

File image of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. PTI

Responding to a charge against the governor that there was no precedent for such visits, the legal expert had said, "As Governor of Assam he had held meetings with District administration there. He has declared his intention to do so in the present office. If the action is not unlawful, to say there is no precedent would have no meaning."

Backing the governor's action, Aney had said, it is the duty of the governor to be acquainted with the true state of affairs of the territory he governs. DMK workers had been staging black flag protests against Purohit during his visits to districts. On 23 June, the party had held a "siege Raj Bhavan" stir demanding Purohit's resignation and said it would intensify the protest if he continued to hold 'review' meetings with government officials in various districts.

The Raj Bhavan subsequently issued a strongly worded statement taking exception to the DMK's continuing protests against Purohit's district visits and the party's 'siege Raj Bhavan' stir.

The Raj Bhavan has said the governor enjoys "unhindered freedom" to interact with officials and cited a legal provision providing seven years imprisonment to those "restraining" him from exercising in any manner any of the lawful powers.

The DMK termed the imprisonment warning 'intimidatory' and also asserted it would "make any sacrifice" to uphold the state's autonomy. Backing the governor, Chief Minister K Palaniswami has said in a democratic country, one could not say that such visits should not be undertaken.

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Updated Date: Jun 26, 2018 21:23:04 IST

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