The Governor of a state, if not satisfied with the bills passed by the legislative assembly, should resend them for reconsideration and not delay the process, the Supreme Court of India said on Thursday, November 23.
The Court observed that Article 200 of the Constitution does not explicitly describe the functions of a Governor after they have withheld a legislative Bill.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra observed according to Article 200, a Governor can – grant assent, withhold assent, or reserve the Bill for the President’s consideration.
If the Governor returns a Bill for whatever reasons or doubt, the Legislative Assembly can rediscuss the Bill or send it back to the Governor with or without amendments post which the Governor is bound to grant their assent.
“The Governor, as an unelected Head of the State, is entrusted with certain constitutional powers. However, this power cannot be used to thwart the normal course of lawmaking by the State Legislatures,” the bench observed.
The bench was hearing a writ petition by the DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu state government against Governor R N Ravi after a controversy of delayed Bills embroiled between the two.
Lately, state governments, mainly those ruled by a non-BJP party have been having a face-off with their respective Governors.
In Telangana, the KCR-led government has had many showdowns with Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan alleging she has delayed Bills and failed to return them to the Legislative Assembly. In April this year, after filing a writ petition by the state government in the apex court, Soundararajan passed three out of the ten delayed Bills. They are the Telangana Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, Telangana Municipalities (Amendment Bill), and the Professor Jayashankar Telangana Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill.