Can’t direct L-G to reject or approve Bill, says Delhi HC

Rejects PIL related to Bill which had banned screening of children for nursery admissions
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has refused to direct the Lieutenant Governor to give assent or return the Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which proposes to ban the screening procedure for children in nursery admissions, saying courts cannot interfere in the legislative procedure. 

It said it is not proper for it to issue any kind of writ to the L-G whether to accept or reject a bill within any timeframe. It is always for the L-G to give his assent or withhold his assent to any bill however desirable the legislation may be, the court said, adding while exercising this discretion, the L-G cannot feel bound on the act and advice of his ministers and courts also cannot control or interfere in this process. 

The HC, however, noted that if the bill does not get an assent, Article 200 of the Constitution indicates that the L-G must as soon as possible after the presentation of the bill to him return the bill together with a message to the House to reconsider the bill or any specified provision.

 “It is not proper for a high court while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to direct a governor who is a constitutional authority to set a time frame in matters which come purely within the domain of the governor.

“In the considered opinion of this court, even though the Bill has been passed by the House, it is always open to the L-G to agree or to send the Bill back to the House and this court ought not pass a writ of mandamus directing the governor to act,” the HC said in its judgment.

The high court’s verdict came while rejecting a PIL which submitted that a “child-friendly” bill — Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill, 2015 —is hanging between central and Delhi governments for the past seven years without any justification and against public interest and opposed to public policy.

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The New Indian Express