SC gets low-down on Bills pending with Telangana Governor

Three Bills cleared, notes court after perusing information submitted by Solicitor-General

Updated - April 10, 2023 11:02 pm IST

Published - April 10, 2023 09:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Supreme Court on April 10, 2023 was given a detailed account of the action taken by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on the various Bills sent by the State government for her assent. File

Supreme Court on April 10, 2023 was given a detailed account of the action taken by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on the various Bills sent by the State government for her assent. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Supreme Court on April 10, 2023, was given a detailed account of the action taken by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on the various Bills sent by the State government for her assent.

Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta shared a communication received by him in this regard from the Governor’s secretary on April 9, 2023.

On March 27, the court asked Mr. Mehta to provide it with an updated position on the fate of these Bills. The petition filed by the State, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, had blamed the Governor for creating a “constitutional impasse” by refusing to act on several Bills passed by the State legislature. Mr. Dave had earlier submitted that the Bills were pending since September 14 last year, awaiting the assent of the Governor.

“In a parliamentary democracy, the Governor has no discretion to delay necessary assent as required on the Bills. Any refusal on the part of the Governor, including delay, will defeat parliamentary democracy and will of the people,” the State had said in its petition.

On Monday, the court recorded from the information shared with it by Mr. Mehta that Governor Soundararajan had already given assent to three pending Bills – The Telangana Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (L.A. Bill No.11 of 2022); The Telangana Municipalities (Amendment Bill), 2023 (L.A. Bill No.3 of 2023); and The Professor Jayashankar Telangana Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (L.A. Bill No.1 of 2023).

Two other Bills, The University of Forestry Telangana Bill, 2022 (L.A. Bill No.9 of 2022) and The Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022 (L.A. Bill No.10 of 2022), have been reserved by the Governor for “consideration and assent of the President”.

The court noted that three Bills – The Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (L.A. Bill No.12 of 2022); The Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (L.A. Bill No.7 of 2022); and The Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (L.A. Bill No.8 of 2022) – were under the ”active consideration” of the Governor.

The Governor’s office stated that certain clarifications were sought by the Governor from the State government with regard to The Telangana Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill 2023 (LA Bill No 2 of 2023).

Finally, the Governor’s office stated that The Azamabad Industrial Area (Termination and Regulation of Leases) (Amendment) Bill 2022 (LA Bill No 6 of 2022) had “not been submitted as yet by the Law Department to the Governor for consideration and assent”.

The court posted the case for further hearing on April 24.

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