38.6c New Delhi, India, Friday, May 24, 2024
Judiciary

'What was he doing for 3 years,' Supreme Court questions delay by Tamil Nadu Governor on pending Bills

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      21 November, 2023 12:16 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday raised a question mark over the delay by the Tamil Nadu's Governor in taking a decision on bills submitted for assent as early as in January 2020, as to what he was doing for three years.

As it was submitted the Governor withheld assent on certain bills, a bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud asked, "Why should the Governor wait for parties to approach the Supreme court? What was the Governor doing for three years?"

The bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, told the Attorney General R Venkataramani, the court had passed the order on November 10, and these bills have been pending since January 2020.

"It means that the Governor took the decision after the court issued notice," the bench said.

Venkatramani submitted the dispute is only related to those bills which seek to divest the Governor's powers relating to the appointment of Vice Chancellors in state universities and since it is an important issue, some reconsideration is required.

He also said the instant matter should not be taken to obtain sanction on validity of those bills.

He submitted that the Governor is not merely a technical supervisor.

Senior advocates A M Singhvi, P Wilson, and Mukul Rohatgi for the Tamil Nadu government, contended that the Article 200 does not mean that the Governor can withhold bills, and there has to be a reason attached to it after due application of mind.

"The Governor cannot just say that “I withhold assent”," they said.

The bench said that the Governor under the substantive part of Article 200, has three courses of actions- he can assent, withhold, reserve the bills for the President.

“When he withholds assent, does he necessarily need to send it for reconsideration? The proviso says ‘may’...,” the bench noted.

Singhvi said "as soon as possible" and the phrase is very clear.

"When you withhold assent, you have to send it back to the House or say that I'm sending it to President,” Singhvi said.

"Does he have a pocket veto," he asked.

The bench further asked after the house repasses the bill, can the Governor then send it back to the President?

Singhvi said 'No' because he has chosen a path and the object was never for the Governor to sit on the bill.

The bench pointed out that the oldest of the pending bills was sent to the Governor in January 2020, and noted the dates on which the ten bills were sent to the Governor's office, ranged between 2020 to 2023.

The AG said that the present governor R N Ravi assumed office only in November 2021. The bench replied that the issue is not whether any particular Governor delayed but whether in general there has been a delay in exercising constitutional functions.

Wilson submitted that if the Governor is allowed to withhold bills indefinitely, the governance will be paralysed and the Constitution never envisaged such a power for the governor.

The apex court was informed that after it issued notice on the petition, the Governor stated that he had "withheld the assent" on certain bills, and following that, the legislative assembly convened a special session and readopted those very same bills on November 18.

The bench was informed that now 15 bills are pending before the Governor, including ten bills which have been "re-passed" by the assembly.

The bench asked whether the Governor can send the bill to the President after the bill has been re-passed by the house.

The Tamil Nadu counsel said such a course is not open to the Governor after the bill has been passed again.

The bench noted that the Governor's office has received altogether 181 bills, out of which assent has been granted for 152 bills, and five bills were withdrawn by the government itself and nine bills have been reserved for the assent of the President and assent has been withheld on ten bills. Five bills, which were received in October 2023, are under consideration, it noted.

The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on December 1.

In its plea, the Tamil Nadu government claimed the Governor has positioned himself as a “political rival” to the legitimately elected government.

It claimed 54 files related to premature release of convicts, four files related to sanction for prosecution of public servants and 12 Bills, were pending including the one since January 9, 2020.



Share this article:

About:

Explore Comprehensive Legal Reporting with LawStreet Journal: Your Go-To Source for Supreme Court an...Read more

Follow:
TwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

SC Issues Notice to Centre on PIL by Ashwini Upadhyay to Debar Candidates From Contesting Polls on Framing of Charges  [Read Petition] SC Issues Notice to Centre on PIL by Ashwini Upadhyay to Debar Candidates From Contesting Polls on Framing of Charges [Read Petition]

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy sought a response from the Union government's Law and Justice and Home Ministries, and the Election Commission on plea by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

SC to take up PIL by Ashwini Upadhyay for publishing draft laws before hand to strengthen law making process SC to take up PIL by Ashwini Upadhyay for publishing draft laws before hand to strengthen law making process

The Supreme Court is set to take up on October 31 an important PIL by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for a direction to the Centre and States to publish draft legislations 60 days before introducing those in Parliament and State Assemblies

Left well-settled job as engineer to pursue legal reforms, Ashwini K Upadhyay to SC Left well-settled job as engineer to pursue legal reforms, Ashwini K Upadhyay to SC

Upadhyay was arguing in person for his PIL seeking a direction to the Centre and States to constitute expert committees to examine good practices of the countries, ranked among top 20 in Corruption Perception Index.

Uniform laws on inheritance, maintenance, divorce in domain of Parliament: SC to Ashwini K Upadhyay Uniform laws on inheritance, maintenance, divorce in domain of Parliament: SC to Ashwini K Upadhyay

The Supreme Court on Friday orally observed that bringing uniform laws for inheritance, maintenance, divorce and guardianship fell in domain of Parliament.

TRENDING NEWS

no-legal-mandate-for-uploading-of-form-17c-on-website-or-handing-over-to-anyone-other-than-candidate-or-agent-ec-tells-sc
Trending Judiciary
No legal mandate for uploading of Form 17C on website or handing over to anyone other than candidate or agent, EC tells SC

EC tells SC there's no legal mandate to upload Form 17C on websites or provide it to anyone other than candidates or agents, citing risks of misuse and mistrust.

23 May, 2024 11:28 AM
mp-high-court-grants-police-protection-to-couple-facing-honour-killing-threats-over-marriage
Trending Judiciary
MP High Court Grants Police Protection to Couple Facing Honour Killing Threats over Marriage [Read Order]

MP High Court grants police protection to a couple facing death threats from their parents for marrying without consent, citing serious measures against honor killings.

23 May, 2024 03:45 PM

TOP STORIES

sc-notice-to-ec-on-plea-by-adr-for-release-of-voters-turnout-data
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to EC on plea by ADR for release of voters turnout data

SC issues notice to EC on ADR plea to release voter turnout data. SC demands EC to disclose vote counts within 48 hours after each phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

18 May, 2024 11:16 AM
recovered-direct-chats-between-kejriwal-and-hawala-operators-on-transfer-of-money-ed-claims-before-sc
Trending Judiciary
Recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on transfer of money, ED claims before SC

ED claims to have recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on money transfer in Delhi liquor policy scam; SC reserves judgement on arrest appeal.

18 May, 2024 11:47 AM
delhi-hc-refuses-jackie-shroff-interim-relief-against-youtuber-unfilteredthugesh-for-alleged-personality-rights-infringement
Trending CelebStreet
Delhi HC refuses Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for using "Thug Life" in video on Shroff

The Delhi High Court has refused Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for alleged personality rights' infringement.

18 May, 2024 05:20 PM
abuse-under-sc-st-act-has-to-be-in-public-view-to-make-out-offence-sc
Trending Judiciary
Abuse under SC/ST Act has to be in public view to make out offence: SC [Read Judgment]

SC rules abuse under SC/ST Act must be in public view. Case involves Olympic Riding and Equestrian Academy, highlighting key requirements for the offence.

18 May, 2024 05:45 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email