NATIONAL NEWS

Purohit warns against bid to ‘overawe’ TN Governor’s office

Chennai, June 24: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s office on Sunday warned that those who try to overawe the Governor will be dealt with sternly as per law. In a statement issued here, the Raj Bhavan said the Governor would continue his visits to districts in the coming months and the Office of Governor was protected under Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Any attempt to overawe or assault or use criminal force would be dealt with as per the law, it said.

“Whoever, with the intention of inducing or compelling the President of India, or the Governor of any State, to exercise or refrain from exercising in any manner any of the lawful powers of such President or Governor, assaults or wrongfully restrains, or attempts wrongfully to restrain, or overawes, by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force, or attempts so to overawe, such President or Governor, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine,” the Raj Bhavan statement said. Referring to a news item that DMK leader M.K. Stalin sought to lay siege to the area around Raj Bhavan to protest against the district visits of Purohit, the statement categorically said that “the Governor enjoys full authority and freedom to visit any part of the state”. “The use of the word ‘review’ by the Leader of the Opposition is an attempt to mislead the people. He is either ignorant of the law or attempting to overawe by threatening to besiege Raj Bhavan or block the roads leading to the Raj Bhavan,” it said.

The statement said Purohit, during the times of his initial district visits, was engaged in trying to inform the Leader of the Opposition and other members of the opposing parties about the legal position by inviting them to Raj Bhavan. “Sufficient time was given for understanding the law so as to change course and abide by it.” As the Head of the Executive, the Governor enjoys unhindered freedom to meet and interact with officials of the state who are members of the executive wing, according to the Raj Bhavan statement. “The Governor has to be familiar with the features, characteristics and the problems faced by people in various districts to take right decisions at critical times and also to send meaningful reports monthly to the Indian President.” The statement added that Purohit during his district visits had not criticised any official or given any direction. On Saturday, the DMK led by Stalin took out a procession to Raj Bhavan protesting against the arrest of party cadres in Namakkal, around 390 km from here, for showing black flags to Purohit during his visit on Friday. (IANS)