Published On: Fri, Nov 10th, 2023

SC pulls up Punjab Governor over delay in nod to bills

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit over delay in giving assent to bills passed by the assembly. During the hearing, the top court bench said, “you are playing with fire”.

The top court expressed its concern

A bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra was hearing a plea by the Punjab government against the Governor over a delay in approving bills passed by the state assembly. Noting that India has been running on “established traditions and conventions”, the bench said they were unhappy with the deadlock between the Punjab government and the Governor.

“We are not happy with what is happening in Punjab. It’s a matter of serious concern,” the Supreme Court said during today’s hearing.

The Supreme Court also questioned the Punjab government on why it adjourned and not prorogue the budget session of its assembly. Noting that democracy has to work in the hands of the Chief Minister as well as the Governor, the bench said that it would pass a short order to settle the law on the matter of the Governor’s power to give a nod to bills.

The top court bench also heard similar plea by the Tamil Nadu government. During the hearing, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the “disease” (state government versus Governor feud) is “speading from Punjab to Tamil Nadu” and it “needs to be resolved”.

On November 6, the Supreme Court expressed concern over the delay in passing bills and said that Governors must act on bills passed by the respective state assemblies even before the matter reaches them.

The Supreme Court on Monday said that Governors must act on bills passed by the respective state assemblies even before the matter reaches them. The top court expressed its concern while hearing the Punjab government’s petition against Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s delay in approving bills.

Punjab Governor Purohit has given his nod to 22 of the 27 bills passed by the Punjab Assembly during the term of the current Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government. The recent feud between Purohit and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led government pertains to three money bills that were proposed to be tabled by the State during a Special Session of the fourth Budget Session on October 20.

However, in his earlier letter to the Punjab Chief Minister on October 19, the Governor had withheld his approval to the three money bills. Later, on November 1, Purohit gave his assent to two of the three money bills, days after he wrote to Mann, saying he would examine all the proposed laws on merit before permitting those to be tabled in the Assembly.

The governor’s approval is needed to table money bills in the House.

Punjab government’s plea said such “unconsitutional inaction” has brought the entire administration to a “grinding halt”.

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