(Judicial Quest News Network)
The impasse between Kerala Government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has intensified further on Thursday, as the Kerala Government moved Supreme Court alleging that the Governor is deliberately refusing to grant assent tot eh Bills Approved by the legislature.
“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 plea states.
The government alleges that Grave injustice is being done to the people of the State, as also to its representative democratic institutions (i.e., the State Legislature and the Executive) by the Governor, by keeping Bills pending for long periods of time, including 3 Bills for longer than 2 years. The Governor appears to be of the view that granting assent or otherwise dealing with Bills is a matter entrusted to him in his absolute discretion, to decide whenever he pleases. This is a complete subversion of the Constitution.
The Kerala State Law Minister has Rajeev said that the state legislature passed the bills after considerable deliberations and in accordance with the rules and therefore, to withhold them indefinitely was “unconstitutional and un-democratic.
The states government has pointed out that “As soon as a bill is passed, the Governor has to act in accordance with provision the Article 200 of the Constitution.
It is further contended that the constitution mandates that the Governor must handle the presented Bills promptly, typically within a few weeks. This is because the State legislature, through its elected representatives, has deliberated upon the bill and has determined that the public interest necessitates the swift conversion of Bills into law as an integral part of state government.
Many of the bills involve immense public interest, and provide for welfare measures which would stand deprived and denied to the people of the State to the extent of the delay.
The State Government Submitted that conduct of the Governor in keeping Bills pending for long and indefinite periods of time is manifestly arbitrary and violates Article 14 of the Constitution also defeats the rights of the people of the State of Kerala under Article 21 of the Constitution, by denying them the benefits of welfare legislation enacted by the State Assembly.
The Writ petition filed by the State Government seeks a declaration from the Supreme Court that the Governor is bound to dispose of every bill presented to him within a reasonable time and without any delay.
The petition has been settled by former Attorney General of India KK Venugopal and Filed through Advocate C.K Sai.
In earlier occasions the Supreme Court had observed that the Governors should return the bills “As soon as Possible” in terms of Article 200 of the Constitution.