The Supreme Court today came down hard on both Punjab and Tamil Nadu governors after the state governments accused them of delaying action on bills cleared by the assemblies. The bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, urged both the governors to not delay the bills that have been cleared by the elected assembly.
“Please don’t deflect the course of bills passed by a duly elected assembly. It’s a matter of very serious concern,” the Chief Justice said.
“You’re playing with fire. How can the governor say this? We are not happy with what is happening in Punjab. Will we continue to be a parliamentary democracy?” the bench added while emphasising that India has been runninng on established traditions and conventions and they need to be followed.
The Punjab government had earlier moved the Supreme Court alleging delay in Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s giving assent to bills passed by the state assembly.
The plea said such “unconstitutional inaction” has brought the entire administration to a “grinding halt.” Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, arguing for the Punjab government, had said the governor had kept back seven bills including those related to fiscal management and education. He said the bills were sent for the governor’s nod in July and his inaction has affected governance.
The court has directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to place on record the details of action taken by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on the bills passed by the assembly.
The Punjab governor is involved in a long-running feud with the Aam Aadmi Party government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
The Tamil Nadu government had also urged the Supreme Court to intervene alleging that the Governor was “undermining the will of people” by intentionally delaying the bills sent to him for clearance. The DMK government and Tamil Nadu governor have been at loggerheads for the past few months. Chief Minister MK Stalin and Centre-appointed Governor Ravi have earlier clashed on pending bills, Mr Stalin’s foreign trips, the Dravidian model of governance, and the latter’s remarks on the state’s name.