Supreme Court to Hear on Monday Plea of Telangana Against Delay by Governor in Giving Assent to Bills Passed by State Assembly
The Supreme Court today agreed to list on Monday a Writ Petition filed by the State of Telangana against the alleged inordinate delay by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan in giving her assent to the bills passed by the state legislative assembly.
“Alright,” said a Bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice PS Narasimha after Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave mentioned the matter for urgent listing.
The Court agreed to hear the matter on Monday, March 20, after Senior Advocate informed the Court that many important bills are stuck for the assent of the Governor. Initially, the Court was inclined to list the matter on Friday of the coming week.
The writ petition filed by the State of Telangana seeks direction to the Governor for providing her assent to the 10 pending bills, out of which seven bills have been pending since September 2022 at the Raj Bhawan.
Article 200 of the Constitution stipulates that after a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of a State, the same shall be presented to the Governor for his assent. The Governor may either declare that he assents to the Bill or may withhold his assent.
The Constitution provides that the Governor may “as soon as possible” return the Bill (not being a Money Bill) to the House together with his message for reconsideration. If the Bill is passed again by the House, with or without any amendment, the Governor shall not withhold assent.
Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) led Punjab Government had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court against the alleged refusal by Governor Banwarilal Purohit to summon the budget session of the state legislative assembly.
The plea was filed before the Supreme Court after the Governor in a communication said that he will summon the Budget Session of the Vidhan Sabha after taking legal advice.
The Council of Ministers made a recommendation to the Governor that the budget session be held from March 4 to 23. However, the Governor said that he would approve the summoning of the Assembly only after seeking legal advice on the "derogatory and patently unconstitutional tweets and letter" written by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
In the letter, Governor Purohit reproduced the tweets and the letter sent by CM Mann on 13 and 14 February, in response to his letter.
The petition was rendered infructuous after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta produced an order issued by the Governor summoning the Assembly immediately before the matter was heard by the Apex Court.
The Court had observed “Article 167 of the Constitution enunciated the duty of the Chief Minister to furnish information to the Governor. As a matter of fact, Article 167 embodies several duties which are passed on to the Chief Minister of every state. The CM has a duty to communicate with the Governor”.
The Court also said that “in view of clear constitutional provision, the authority entrusted to the Governor to summon house is to be exercised on aid and advice of the Council of Ministers”.
“Failure of constitutional authority to fulfil its duty would not be a justification for another to not fulfil his distinct duty under the Constitution”, cautioned the Court.