Tamil Assembly readopts 10 bill return by governor
- November 19, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Tamil Assembly readopts 10 bill return by governor
Section: Parliament and state Legislature
Context: Tamil Assembly readopts 10 bills returned by governor.
More about the news:
- The Tamil Nadu Assembly held a special sitting to readopt 10 Bills returned by Governor R N Ravi, covering law, agriculture, and higher education.
- AIADMK and BJP walked out, questioning the need for the session while the matter is in the Supreme Court.
- Chief Minister M K Stalin criticized the Governor for withholding assent without providing reasons, calling it an affront to elected representatives.
- Stalin emphasized the Governor’s duty to give assent under Article 200 and accused non-BJP states of being targeted.
- Six of the Bills aim to enhance government power in universities, amending laws governing institutions like Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University.
What is the constitutional provisions related to Governor assent to the bill:
- Article 200 of the Constitution outlines four options available to a Governor when a legislature-passed Bill is presented for assent:
- Grant assent immediately.
- Withhold assent.
- Return the Bill to the legislature, requesting reconsideration of the Bill or specific provisions.
- If the legislature reapproves the Bill, with or without accepting Governor-suggested amendments, the Governor is constitutionally obligated to grant assent.
- Alternatively, the Governor may reserve the Bill for the President’s consideration.
- In the case of Presidential considerationi.eArticle 201 the decision to grant or withhold assent is made by the President. Notably, there is no specified timeframe for the President to decide on the Bill’s outcome.
Do Governors have discretion:
- Governors did have a discretion to return Bills before the first provision in the draft Article 175(now Article 200).
- This was amended by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.
- The first provision to Article 200 is thus a saving clause and retains the discretion over the fate of the Bill solely in the hands of the State Cabinet.
- Article 163 makes it clear the Governor is not expected to act independently.
- The Supreme Court in the Shamsher Singh case verdict has held that a Governor exercises all his powers and functions conferred on him by or under the Constitution on the aid and advice of his Council of Ministers save in spheres where the Governor is required by or under the Constitution to exercise his functions in his discretion.
- The assent or return of the Bill does not involve the discretion of individuals occupying the Governor’s post.
What are various Supreme Court observations
- Purushothaman Nambudiri vs State of Kerala (1962):
- The Constitution Bench clarified that no specific time limit is imposed by the Constitution for the Governor to provide assent to Bills.
- Emphasized that the Governor must align actions with the will of the Legislature and operate in harmony with their Council of Ministers.
- The Supreme Court asserted that withholding assent to a law validly passed by the Legislature constitutes a direct attack on the federal structure of the Constitution.Noting that causing delays in assenting to Bills would be an arbitrary exercise, contradicting the constitutional spirit.
- Shamsher Singh vs State of Punjab (1974):
- A 7-judge Constitution Benchoutlined that the President and Governor should exercise their formal constitutional powers based on the advice of their Ministers, with few well-known exceptions.
- Nabam Rebia case (2016):
- The SC cited B R Ambedkar’s observations, stating that the Governor has no independent functions to execute but does have specific duties to perform, urging recognition of this distinction by the House.
- Ruled that Article 163 of the Constitution does not grant the Governor general discretionary power to act against or without the advice of the Council of Ministers.
- Rajiv Gandhi assassination case (2018):
- The SC expressed dissatisfaction with the Governor’s delay in taking action on the release of seven convicted prisoners, citing a lapse of more than two years.
What are the other Constitutional Position related to Governor:
- Article 153 of the Indian Constitution mandates the appointment of a Governor in each state. The 7th Amendment to the Constitution however, allows for the appointment of the same person as Governor of two or more states.
- Article 154: The Governor shall have executive power over the state, which he shall exercise either directly or through officers subordinate to him in conformity with this Constitution.
- Article 163: There shall be a council of ministers, led by the Chief Minister, to assist and advise the Governor in the exercise of his powers, except when he is compelled to execute his functions at his discretion.
- Article 164: The council of ministers is collectively responsible to the state’s legislative assembly. This provision is the cornerstone of the state’s parliamentary system of governance.
- The Governor has the same Executive, Legislative, Financial, and Judicial authorities as the President of India. However, the Governor’s power is restricted in several ways compared to that of the President, as the Governor lacks the President’s military, diplomatic, and emergency authorities.