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Judiciary

Kerala govt files plea in SC against Governor's acts of reserving bills for Prez

By Jhanak Singh      27 March, 2024 10:43 AM      0 Comments
Kerala govt files plea in SC against Governors acts of reserving bills for Prez

NEW DELHI: Kerala government has filed a plea in the Supreme Court for declaring withholding of assent by the President on four bills passed by state Assembly as unconstitutional, for not assigning any reason for it, in a highly arbitrary action, violating Article 14, as well as Article 200 and 201 of the Constitution.

The LDF government questioned the decision by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan to reserve bills for assent of President as unconstitutional, though not a single one among them related to Centre-state relations.

"The attention of the President, acting on aid and advice, has to be brought to the specific provision of a State law which is ostensibly in conflict with a central law, for the conflict to be cured by the assent of the President. In the instant case, there is no provision of any of the four bills which have been placed before the President as being contrary to or impinging upon any central law. As such, there is no constitutional basis which would permit the President to withhold assent," the plea said.

In its plea, the state government said seven bills had been pending with the Governor for as long as about two years.

"The action of the Governor in keeping the bills pending for as long as two years has subverted the functioning of the legislature of the State and rendered its existence itself ineffective and otiose. The bills include public interest bills which are for the public good, and even these have been rendered ineffective by the Governor not dealing with each one of them “as soon as possible” as required by the proviso to Article 200," it contended.

The very existence of the Legislative Assembly of the State has been rendered meaningless by the Governor, though the Governor is a part of the Legislative Assembly, the state government said.

The Kerala government also contended the actions of the Union Government, in advising the President to withhold assent to bills passed by the state legislative Assembly as long as 11-24 months back, and which were wholly within the domain of the state, subverted and disrupted the federal structure of the Constitution, and is a grave encroachment into the domain entrusted to the State.

The Kerala government had earlier also filed the Supreme Court over the undue delay on the part of the Governor in giving assent to the bills.
 

 



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