Aggrieved states should move SC against guvs: Former Lok Sabha Secretary General
A memorandum signed by a majority of ruling DMK MPs and its allies alleged that the Governor is acting against the Constitution.
NEW DELHI: As Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its allies are readying a memorandum to be presented to President Droupadi Murmu seeking the removal of Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi, Constitutional experts say that aggrieved states should approach the Supreme Court to end the constitutional impasse created by Governors in several Opposition-ruled states.
Speaking to this newspaper, Constitutional expert and former Lok Sabha Secretary General PDT Achary said that the state’s move to submit a joint petition to the President doesn’t serve any purpose. “There is no precedence of Governors being removed on the demand of Opposition ruled states. Instead of approaching the President, the states should have approached the Supreme Court on grounds that the Governor is acting against the Constitution,” he said. For a long time, the Tamil Nadu government has been at loggerheads with the Governor for not sending the NEET Exemption Bill to the President after being passed twice in the state Assembly and a host of other issues.
A memorandum signed by a majority of ruling DMK MPs and its allies alleged that the Governor is acting against the Constitution. “It impedes and obstructs a democratically elected government from serving the people, which is ex-facie unconstitutional,” read the petition.
In Kerala too, the constant sparring between the Kerala government and Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has become uglier with the Governor demanding the resignation of nine Vice Chancellors and the sacking of ministers from the state cabinet. Another point of contention is that Khan is yet to sign two bills — Lok Ayukta and University Amendment Bills passed by the state assembly. Constitutional experts call it an unprecedented situation as the Governor has exceeded his powers.
Achary points out that the Governor’s refusal of signing the Bills and demanding the sacking of state ministers can be challenged in the Supreme Court. “Let the SC come out with a judgment and settle it once and for all. The state governments have enough grounds to challenge the Governor’s actions in the court,” he says. In addition to the issue of V-C appointments, Khan had threatened to sack state ministers for the remarks made by them. He had said, “the ministers ceased to enjoy my pleasure”.
However, Achary said that the Governor cannot dismiss state ministers unless recommended by the Chief Minister. For that, Article 154, Article 163, and 164 have to be applied together, he points out.
According to Article 164 of the Indian Constitution, “The CM shall be appointed by the governor and the other ministers shall be appointed by the governor on the advice of the chief minister, and the ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor”.
The state government can approach the Supreme Court as the Governor acted against the Constitution, he says. “The Governor has no authority to withdraw pleasure without taking the advice of the
CM. It is unconstitutional,” says Achary. The stand-off will lead to a constitutional crisis when the Governor fails to discharge his duties and function in accordance with his position, says Achary.