NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 20: The Supreme Court Monday issued a notice to the Centre over Kerala Government’s plea against Governor Arif Mohammad Khan’s inaction on several bills that are waiting for his assent for more than a year.
Earlier this month, the Kerala Government had moved a writ petition in the Supreme Court against Governor Arif Mohammed Khan for inaction on his part regarding 8 Bills passed by the State Legislature and presented to him for his assent under Article 200 of the Constitution.
The petition said that 3 Bills have been pending before the Governor for more than 2 years and some of them for over 1 year.
Hearing the plea, a Supreme Court Bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, issued a notice to the Centre and Additional Chief Secretary to the Kerala Governor. The Court asked the Attorney General to assist on the matter and listed it on November 22.
The Kerala Government was represented by former Attorney General of India and Senior Advocate KK Venugopal. He told the Court that as many as 8 bills are pending for many months and sought appropriate orders in relation to the inaction on part of the Kerala Governor.
Besides, the top Court also heard a similar petition filed by two more Opposition-ruled State Governments – Tamil Nadu and Punjab.
The Court asked tough questions of Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi over the delay in the bills.
“These bills were pending since 2020… what was he doing for 3 years?” it asked.
The top Court also raised another question – “can a Governor withhold assent on a bill without sending it back to the Assembly?”
The top Court remarks follows dramatic run events in Tamil Nadu. A few days ago, Governor Ravi returned 10 bills, including the 2 passed by the previous AIADMK Government.
Following this, Tamil Nadu Government called a special Assembly session on Saturday to re-adopt all the 10 bills and sent them back to the Governor for his assent.
The Court adjourned the matter till December 1, saying “Assembly has passed the bills again and sent it to the Governor. Let us see what Governor does.”