Governor’s assent to bills
- October 6, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Governor’s assent to bills
The Governor’s assent has, of late, become a controversial issue in at least two States — Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, the Governor forwarded the Bill for exemption from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to the President after considerable delay. In Kerala the situation has become a bit curious with the Governor publicly announcing that he would not give assent to the Lokayukta Amendment Bill and the Kerala University Amendment Bill.
Bill passed by the State Assembly becomes law only after it is assented to by the Governor. The Governor being a part of the State legislature, the process of law making is complete only when he signs it, signifying his assent
Assent to bills under article 200 (i.e. assent of the Governor to the bills passed by the state legislature):
- Giving assent to a Bill passed by the legislature is a normal constitutional act performed by the Governor.
- The Governor is an appointee of the President, which means the Union government.
- Article 154(1) of the Constitution vests in the Governor the executive power of the State, he is required to exercise that power in accordance with the Constitution. In other words, the Governor can act only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
- While there is not much deviation from the language used in the Government of India Act of 1935 in the context of the powers of the British era Governors, It is a settled constitutional position that the Governor is only a constitutional head and the executive power of the State is exercised by the Council of Ministers.
- When a bill is sent to the governor after it is passed by state legislature, he can:
- (a) Give his assent to the bill, or
- (b) Withhold his assent to the bill, or
- Return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state
- However, if the bill is passed again by the state legislature with or without amendments, the governor has to give his assent to the bill, or
- Reserve the bill for the consideration of the president (article 201). In one case such reservation is obligatory, that is, where the bill passed by the state legislature endangers the position of the state high court.
- In addition, the governor can also reserve the bill if it is of the following nature:
- (i) Ultra-vires, that is, against the provisions of the Constitution.
- (ii) Opposed to the Directive Principles of State Policy.
- (iii) Against the larger interest of the country.
- (iv) Of grave national importance.
- (v) Dealing with compulsory acquisition of property under Article the Constitution.