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Monday, July 02, 2001



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Union Cabinet recommends recall -- TN Governor resigns

Our Bureau


THE Tamil Nadu Governor, Ms Justice M. Fathima Beevi, has tendered her resignation. This is an apparent reaction to the Union Cabinet's decision earlier in the day to recall the Governor.

The Governor sent in her resignation in a letter to the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, a Raj Bhavan press release said.

The Centre had asked for a report from the Governor on the circumstances leading to the arrest of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, and the two Union Ministers, Mr Murasoli Maran and Mr T.R. Baalu, after the State Chief Secretary d id not send in the report as requested by the Centre.

In her report, the Governor is reported to have stated that Mr Karunanidhi resisted arrest and that he was not manhandled. She was also reported to have stated that the Union Ministers were arrested as they tried to prevent the police from discharging th eir duties.

Earlier, the three-member team from the Union Home Ministry, led by the Special Secretary, Mr M.B. Kaushal, met the Governor for about 30 minutes and ascertained the chain of events on Saturday.

The team also separately met Tamil Nadu Government officials, including the Chief Secretary, Mr P. Shankar, the Director General of Police, Mr A. Ravindranath, and other senior police officials at Raj Bhavan for about 30 minutes. The team also called on Mr Maran at the Apollo Hospitals, where he was admitted on Saturday morning and where he is now under remand. The team is expected to submit its report to the Centre tomorrow.

Our Delhi Bureau reports: The Union Cabinet, which met today, decided to recall the Tamil Nadu Governor, Ms Fathima Beevi, for having ``fully failed'' to discharge the Constitutional obligations.

Briefing newspersons, the Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley, said that the Cabinet was of the view that the Governor's report did not objectively reflect the situation in Tamil Nadu.

However, when questioned on whether President's rule will be imposed in the State in the wake of the recent developments, Mr Jaitley only said that the Cabinet was meeting again tomorrow where various subjects will be discussed.

``In fact, several portions of the Governor's report are verbatim contents of the one that the State Chief Secretary sent to the Union Home Secretary,'' Mr Jaitley said.

Further, it was the obligation of the Governor to keep the President and the Union Government informed of the ``correct and objective'' situation as exists in the State from time to time, the Minister said.

The report, Mr Jaitley pointed out, did not say anything about the assault on Mr Maran nor did it mention the injuries to Mr Baalu and the fact that he was denied medical attention.

The Minister added that if the authority of the Union Government is defied, human rights are violated and media intimated, then the Governor is ``duty-bound'' to inform the Centre of the situation and make an independent assessment.

Picture: Ms Fathima Beevi

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