Telangana govt. moves SC against delays by Governor in giving assent to Bills passed by legislature 

Govt. takes legal recourse for remedying its grievance against the institution of Governor 

Updated - March 02, 2023 04:41 pm IST

Published - March 02, 2023 04:40 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The Telangana government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court. File

The Telangana government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The State Government has finally taken legal recourse for remedying its grievance against the inordinate delays in clearance of the important Bills passed by the two Houses of the State Legislature by the institution of the Governor.

The government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court claiming that the Telangana Government is constrained to move before the court under its extraordinary jurisdiction conferred under Article 32 of the Constitution of India in view of “a very prequent constitutional impasse created on account of the refusal of the Governor to act on several bills passed by the State Legislature”. These Bills are pending since September 14, 2022 till date for the assent of the Governor”, the Government said in its petition for which the Governor has been made a respondent.

The Government in its petition attached copies of the Azamabad Industrial Area (Termination and Regulation of Leases) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and University of Forestry Telangana Bill, 2022. Other Bills which the Government mentioned included Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022, Telangana Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Telangana Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Telangana Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The Government has quoted Article 200 of the Constitution which mandates that the Governor could assent or could withhold assent in which case the bill should be returned together with the message requesting that the Houses reconsider the Bill for any specified provision and would consider the desirability of introducing any such amendments as it might recommend in the message. By virtue of Article 163, the Governor was required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion only on the aid and advice of the council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head. “The Governor is not expected to act independently and this position has been made amply clear by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Shamsher Singh Vs State of Punjab (1974)”, the Government said.

Further, the Constitution did not envisage at providing parallel administration within the State by allowing the Governor to go against the advice of the Council of Ministers. Article 200 did not also confer any independent discretion on the Governor as was clear from the discussion in the Constituent Assembly, the petition said.

Article 200 was couched in mandatory language as it repeatedly used the word “shall” thereby clearly suggesting that the Governor must act as soon as possible to either grant assent or withhold assent and return the bill as envisaged only on the advice of the Council of Ministers. In a parliamentary democracy, the Governor had no discretion to differ or delay necessary assent as required on the Bills presented for assent.

“Any refusal on the part of the Governor including any delay will defeat the parliamentary democracy and the will of the people. Hence, the writ petition,” the Government said in its petition. The Government also attached the list of dates on which the Bills were passed by the Legislature as also the copies of the discussion in the constituent assembly in support of its argument.

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