Ousted Puducherry Governor mulling legal recourse

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 25, 2014

Virendra Kataria

Ousted Puducherry Governor, Virendra Kataria, who was given marching orders on July 11, has sought an appointment with President Pranab Mukherjee to find out why he was removed.

“I have sought an audience with the President to find out what really happened and, if necessary, may even consider taking legal recourse. I also need to find out if Rashtrapati Bhawan comes under RTI,” Kataria said​at a press conference here on Friday.

The octogenarian Congress leader from Punjab served as Lt Governor of the Union Territory of Puducherry for about a year and is sore about his removal.

He alleged that he was removed because he was “coming in the way of corrupt practices being followed” by the ruling dispensation in Puducherry, headed by the Chief Minister N Rangasamy.

Incidentally, after his marching orders, there were reports that Kataria had earned the wrath of political forces in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for clearing a file approving an appeal in the Madras High Court against the Kanchi seer Shankaracharya in the Sankararaman murder case judgment.

In November 2013, a trial court in Puducherry had acquitted all the 23 accused, including Kanchi seers Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi, in a case related to the murder of Sankararaman, a manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu on September 3, 2004, inside the temple premises.

When asked, Kataria said he did not think this was the ‘real reason’ for his removal.

He said he had signed the file as it was one among the many brought to him as a routine and had signatures of the Chief Secretary, Chief Minister, Law Secretary etc.

“I signed it because there was no mention of Shankaracharya in the file and I thought it was like so many other files seeking approval for appeal. Als​o it was already signed by so m​any people,” he added.

Kataria also alleged that there were attempts to “buy him over’ as he did not fall in line with the “widespread loot and plunder of public money” in Puducherry.

Last week, reacting to Kataria’s allegations, Rangasamy had reportedly refused to comment and said it was the Centre that had sacked him.

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Published on July 25, 2014
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