NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed concern over the delay by various state governors in giving assent to key bills passed by governments of states, especially those ruled by opposition parties such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Punjab, noticing a trend
that these states are approaching the apex court’s intervention.
A bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud asked why the governors should act only after the states approached the top court, stressing this scenario has to end while dealing with the Aam Aadmi Party-led Punjab government’s plea against Governor Banwarilal Purohit over delay of the bills passed by the Assembly.
This happened in the Telangana government’s matter also, the CJI noted and said a “little bit of soul-searching” is needed from the Chief Minister and Governor.
“Governor must know that he is not an elected representative. He can withhold assent and send it back once. This is particularly on money bills. Why should parties be required to move the Supreme Court for convening the House? We are the oldest democracy and these issues must be sorted between the Chief Minister and the Governor,” he remarked.
The bench, also comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra further asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place an updated status report on the action taken by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on the bills passed by the Assembly.
The CJI also noted that the Punjab Legislative Assembly was adjourned sine die on March 22, 2023 without being prorouged and was reconvened three months later.
In the meanwhile, the bench also agreed to hear Kerala’s plea on Friday, after former Attorney-General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Kerala government, submitted that Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has been holding the bills passed by the state for about two years.
Tamil Nadu’s plea against Governor RN Ravi over delay in clearing bills passed by the state legislative assembly, saying the latter has been “engaging in politically motivated conduct,” will also be heard on Friday.
Notably, another plea by Tamil Nadu against Governor RN Ravi, alleging the latter is trying to dilute the Tamil Nadu government’s autonomy in appointing vice-chancellors to state universities and seeking to restrain him from issuing notification or constituting search panels or performing any similar acts contrary to the laws governing the varsities will also be heard on Friday.