TN Governor’s inaction: SC advises Guv to resolve issues with CM Stalin, without awaiting judgment

SC observes guv cannot refer readopted bills to Prez, after withholding assent

Stalin with Governor R.N. Ravi (File) Chief Minister M.K. Stalin (left) with Governor R.N. Ravi (right)

 Hearing Tamil Nadu’s plea against Governor R.N. Ravi, regarding delay in granting assent to bills passed by the Assembly, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said they would appreciate if the governor sits with the chief minister and resolves issues.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, hearing the case on Friday, questioned Governor Ravi’s decision to refer bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly to the President, after declaring he was withholding his assent on them. The Court came down heavily on the governor recently for withholding assent to bills, including for those which were passed two years ago. The bench observed that the governor can’t refer a bill to president after the State Assembly has re-enacted it.

The bench observed the Governor has only three options as per Article 200 - granting assent, withholding assent or referring to the President- and that after exercising any of these options, he cannot then exercise another option, Live Law reported. Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi appeared on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government, informed the Court that the governor, on November 28, referred readopted bills to the president. CJI observed orally that as per Article 200, the governor can not refer a bill to the president after exercising the option of withholding his assent. Attorney General for India R. Venkataramani appeared for the governor.

The CJI said the impasse should be resolved at the governor’s level, by holding talks with CM, without awaiting the judgment. “We would like the governor to resolve the impasse. We will appreciate it if the governor resolves the impasse with the chief minister. I think the governor invites the chief minister and let them sit down and discuss it," the bench said and fixed December 11 as the date to hear the plea. "We are conscious of the fact that we are dealing with high constitutional functionaries,” the bench observed. “ I think it would be appropriate if the Governor invites the CM,” Chief Justice Chandrachud told AG.

The case will be next taken up for hearing on December 11. 

-with PTI inputs.


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