Re-adopted bills:  Tamil Nadu Government awaits ‘good news’ soon

In a special session on November 18, the Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopted the 10 bills that were withheld by the governor.
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi (File photo | PTI)
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi (File photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Law Minister S Regupathy on Saturday exuded hope that good news would soon come from the Raj Bhavan about the 10 bills re-adopted by the Assembly as the Supreme Court has held that governors cannot withhold re-adopted bills. Governor R N Ravi, meanwhile, has left for New Delhi on Saturday. Raj Bhavan officials were tightlipped about the purpose of the visit.

In a special session on November 18, the Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopted the 10 bills that were withheld by the governor. Most of these bills, dealing with the appointment of CM as chancellor of state universities in the place of governor, were pending with the governor’s office for more than two years. The re-adopted bills were sent to the Raj Bhavan on the same day for the governor’s assent.

The Supreme Court, in its recent judgment in a case filed by Punjab government against Governor Banwarilal Purohit over his inaction on four bills passed by the state legislature, has ruled that governors cannot keep bills pending indefinitely without any action. The SC said the unelected Head of the State is entrusted with constitutional powers but those powers cannot be used to thwart the normal course of lawmaking by legislatures.

Observing that unbridled discretion to the governor would “virtually veto the functioning of the legislative domain by a duly elected legislature,” a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said “such a course of action would be contrary to the fundamental principles of a constitutional democracy based on a Parliamentary pattern of governance.”Recently, attorney general submitted a report to the SC regarding the bills, files and other issues pending with the office of the Tamil Nadu governor.

The report said that 181 bills have been received since January 2020, and of them, 152 have been approved by the governor. The state government withdrew five bills and the governor reserved nine bills for the consideration of the President, and another bill is being reserved for the President’s consideration. The governor has withheld assent for 10 bills and as of October 17, five bills were under the consideration of the governor.

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