The Karnataka High Court on Monday asked the Advocate-General to get instruction from the government with regard to a public interest litigation petition that has questioned the delay by the Governor in granting assent to the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2012.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna issued the direction to the Advocate-General while hearing the petition filed by Sampathraj Bagrecha and others.

Nod without delay

The petitioners have sought a declaration from the court that assent to a legislation duly passed by the legislature has to be granted without delay and the President or the Governor have no discretion in the matter, and this is not a function or power to be exercised in their discretion.

Questioning the action of the Governor in referring the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010 to the President for his consideration, the petitioner pointed out that there was no justification on part of the Governor to delay or deny assent to the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2012, which was enacted by the State legislature by incorporating the suggestions from the Union government.

“The President/Governor cannot act without or contrary to the advice of the Ministers. He exercises his powers/functions only upon and in accordance with such advice. That is true with regard to assent to Bills. Even to reserving a Bill for the consideration of the President, the Governor has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers except where the Constitution itself requires and mandates reservation. Granting assent is a constitutional duty. Unfortunately over the years, a myth has been created and the duty has been converted into perceived discretion,” the petitioner said.

Cable TV

The High Court on Monday extended till April 9 its interim order staying the March 31 deadline to switch over to the digital signal through set-top boxes from the present analogue signals for cable television in Bangalore and Mysore cities.

The hearing on the petitions filed by the cable operators’ associations remained inconclusive on Monday.

KPSC selection

The High Court on Monday ordered issue of notices to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the State government and the Karnataka Public Service Commission on a petition questioning putting off of interviews scheduled for selection for the post of KAS gazetted probationers in view of the election code of conduct.

Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar passed the order on a petition filed by Amit J. of Bangalore questioning the directive given by the ECI to the State and KPSC on April 2 asking them to postpone the interviews as the model code of conduct for Assembly elections is in place.

The KPSC is a statutory body and the ongoing selection process does not come under the purview of the model code of conduct for Assembly elections, the petitioner claimed while contending that the Supreme Court had already clarified that the election code of conduct would not be applicable for selection process undertaken by the UPSC.