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Delay in clearing bills: SC issues notice to Guv, Centre on Kerala’s plea

Delay in clearing bills:  SC issues notice to Guv, Centre on Kerala’s plea

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan (file photo)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Additional Chief Secretary to the Governor of Kerala and the Union government following a plea filed by the state of Kerala against the Governor's act of not giving assent to the bills passed by the state assembly.

Over the last few days, the Supreme Court has been receiving similar pleas from different states, the others being Tamil Nadu and Punjab against the Centre-nominated governors sitting on bills passed by the assemblies.

The apex court has also made strong remarks against the governors and orally remarked during the hearing that bills passed by the assemblies came from the legislators which reflected the will of the people who are the ultimate authority for making laws.

On Monday, the highest court also dealt with a similar petition by the Tamil Nadu government.

In the case of Kerala, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has beenkeepingon hold as many as eight bills some of which were passed nearly two years ago.

The bench that heard the case was headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and comprised Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

“Issue notice to the second and third respondents, returnable on Friday. We request the Attorney General of India or the Solicitor General to assist this court in the matter,” the bench ordered.

During the hearing, senior advocate K. K. Venugopal, representing the Kerala government, said that Governors should realise that they are a part of the state legislature under Article 168 of the Constitution.

He said that the Governor also continues to sit on three bills which were earlier promulgated as ordinances under his signature.

According to the plea made by Advocate KK Venugopal, as many as eight bills were presented to the Governor for his assent and of these, “three have been pending with the Governor for more than two years, and three more in excess of a full year".

The plea filed by the Kerala government said that by keeping bills presented to him pending for such long periods, the Governor is directly violating the provision of the Constitution, namely, that the bill should be dealt with "as soon as possible".

The writ petition said that the words "as soon as possible" occurring in Article 200 of the Constitution necessarily mean that not only should pending bills be disposed of within a reasonable time, but that these Bills have to be dealt with urgently and expeditiously without any avoidable delay.

It added that the Governor's alleged inaction defeats the rights of the people of the state to the welfare measures sought to be implemented through the bills.

"The conduct of the Governor, as would presently be demonstrated, threatens to defeat and subvert the very fundamentals and basic foundations of our Constitution, including the rule of law and democratic good governance," the plea said.

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TAGS:Supreme CourtKK VenugopalArif Mohammad KhangovernorsIndia NewsDelay in clearing bills
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