20 Nov 2023 7:37 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday (20.11.2023) issued notice on the plea filed by the Government of Kerala alleging that the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, was delaying the consideration of bills that the State Assembly had passed. The bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra also sought for the assistance of Attorney General R Venkatramani...
The Supreme Court on Monday (20.11.2023) issued notice on the plea filed by the Government of Kerala alleging that the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, was delaying the consideration of bills that the State Assembly had passed. The bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra also sought for the assistance of Attorney General R Venkatramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the matter. The plea will now be heard on Friday (24.11.2023).
The Court issued notice to the Chief Secretary to the Governor and the Union of India.
Representing the State Government of Kerala, Senior Advocate KK Venugopal made three submissions before the Apex Court–
1. The governor is a part of the legislature under Article 168 of the Indian Constitution. As per Article 168, for every State, there shall be a Legislature which shall consist of the Governor and two Houses to be known respectively as the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly;
2. The governor had promulgated three ordinances which were later converted into bills passed by Legislature;
3. As many as eight bills had been pending consideration for the assent of the Governor from 7-21 months.
It may be also be noted that the bench today considered a similar petition filed by the State of Tamil Nadu, in which the Court expressed concerns at the Governor's delay in disposing of bills which have been pending since January 2020.
In an earlier hearing related to a similar petition filed by the State of Punjab, the court had orally stated that the trend of Governors acting on the bills only after the State Government approached the Court must stop. Earlier, a similar situation had happened in the State of Telangana, where the Governor acted on the pending bills only after the Government filed a writ petition.
The Government of Kerala approached the Supreme Court stating that the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, was delaying the consideration of bills that the State Assembly has passed. The State Government had contended that the Governor had failed in his constitutional duties by causing unreasonable delay in considering over 8 pending 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, apart from defeating the rights of the people of the State to the welfare measures sought to be implemented through the Bills.” the State Government’s plea stated.
The following are the bills pending consideration of the Governor and the time elapsed since its presentation:
University Laws Amendment Bill (1st Amendment) 2021 -23 months
University Laws Amendment Bill (1st Amendment) 2021-23 months
University Laws Amendment Bill (2nd Amendment) 2021 [APJ Abdulkalam Technical University (Mal)] -23 months
Kerala Co-operative Societies Amendment Bill 2022 [MILMA] -14 months
University Laws Amendment Bill 2022 -12 months
Kerala Lokayukta Amendment Bill 2022-12 months
University Laws Amendment Bill 2022 -9 months
Public Health Bill 2021 -5 months
The writ filed by the State seeks a declaration from the Apex Court that the Governor is bound to dispose of every bill presented to him within a reasonable time and without any delay. The writ also seeks a specific declaration that the Governor has failed in the exercise of his constitutional powers and duties by delaying the consideration of the pending bills on time.
Case Title: The State Of Kerala And Anr. v Honble Governor For State Of Kerala And Ors. W.P.(C) No. 1264/2023 + The State Of Tamil Nadu v The Governor Of Tamilnadu And Anr. W.P.(C) No. 1239/2023
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