A special session of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has been convened on November 18 (Saturday) to readopt certain Bills returned to the government by Governor R.N. Ravi, Speaker M. Appavu said on November 16.
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This would be the third time in the history of the Tamil Nadu Assembly where Bills returned by the Governor are set to be readopted.
Although there is no clarity on the exact number of Bills returned by the Governor, sources indicated that most of these legislation pertained to a proposal to amend the statutes of various State universities to enable replacing the Governor with Chief Minister as the Chancellor of the universities.
“The Governor had for long kept pending several Bills that were adopted by the Assembly without taking decisions on them. I learn that he has returned several Bills. They [the State government] have requested for calling a session so as to [re] adopt them at once,” Mr. Appavu told reporters in Tiruvannamalai, where he attended an event.
Accompanied by Deputy Speaker K. Pitchandi and Assembly Secretary K. Srinivasan, Mr. Appavu said the State government would decide on the Bills that have to be re-adopted when the session commences on Saturday. He pointed out that if a Bill adopted by the House and returned by the Governor is sent to him after readopting it, the Governor must act on it.
Mr. Appavu recalled that two Bills — one seeking to admit students to undergraduate medical courses without appearing in NEET and another banning online rummy and gambling — which were returned by the Governor, were readopted by the House and sent back to him. Following this, the Governor had forwarded the NEET exemption Bill to the President and granted assent for the online rummy/gambling ban bill.
Moved apex court
It may be noted that the Tamil Nadu government had recently moved the Supreme Court accusing Mr. Ravi of creating a “constitutional deadlock” by inexplicably delaying or even failing to consider and assent to crucial Bills passed by the Legislature and stymieing day-to-day governance in a way which is threatening to bring administration in the State to a grinding halt.
In its affidavit the government had listed out 12 Bills (including two adopted during the erstwhile AIADMK regime) that were pending before the Governor, as on October 26.
All the 12 Bills listed out by the Tamil Nadu government in the Supreme Court were over empowering the State government to control the affairs of the university and replacing the Governor as Chancellor of State-run universities. One Bill was over setting up a new university for Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani, Yoga & Naturopathy and Homoeopathy (with Chief Minister as the Chancellor).