Monday, May 27, 2024

Approval of bills : Set a deadline for Governor TRS govt writes to Law Commission

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The Telangana Rashtra Samiti government has written to the Law Commission seeking to modify the Constitution for setting a deadline for the Governor to approve bills.In this connection, it wanted the Law Commission to change the operative words “as soon as possible” to “as soon as possible within 30 days”.

According to Article 200 of the Constitution of India, the Governor has the right to assent or reject a bill.The TRS government urged the Law Commission to make Article 200 more accountable by studying these lapses and recommend to the Government of India to amend the Constitution.

“The term ‘as soon as possible’ seems very vague and lacks a specific timeframe in Article 200. The framers of the Constitution would never have envisaged that such a situation would arise where a Governor openly contradicts the policy/ bills of the elected state government by indefinitely delaying assent. I strongly urge you to look into this matter and request you to recommend to the Government of India to amend the term in the Article 200 of the Constitution from “as soon as possible” to “within 30 days”. This change will bring a lot more accountability in the system at the highest level”, said Planning Commission Vice Chairman B Vinod Kumar.

Vinod urged Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Law Commission Chairman, to recommend to the Government of India to amend Article 200 of the Constitution by replacing the term “as soon as possible” with a term that is more specific such as “within 30 days”.

He said, “I am hurt by the lackadaisical attitude of the Governors in not acting upon Bills passed by the State Assemblies. What is stopping the Governors from exercising his/her powers to either accept or reject a bill? The Legislative Assemblies of Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, etc. have enacted several important Bills and sent the same to their State Governors for assent (annexure attached for your reference). He said that Governors are unduly delaying to act upon bills passed by the State Legislatures.This attitude of the Constitutional head is causing irreparable loss to the people of the nation”.

He said The Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill 2022 was submitted to the Governor for her perusal a few months ago. But unfortunately no action has been taken so far. This Bill, if cleared, will generate more than 1,000 jobs for Assistant Professors in Telangana. I am confident that many other states have tabled such Bills that are lying due to the apathy of their respective Governors. Governors are not acting upon these Bills as there is no specific time frame/ turnaround time for them to act upon Bills passed by the State Legislatures.

It may be mentioned here that  Article 200 states that when a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of a State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, has been passed by both Houses of the Legislature of the State, it shall be presented to the Governor and the Governor shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President:  Provided that the Governor may, as soon as possible after the presentation to him of the Bill for assent, return the Bill if it is not a Money Bill together with a message requesting that the House or Houses will reconsider the Bill or any specified provisions thereof and, in particular, will consider the desirability of introducing any such amendments as he may recommend in his message and, when a Bill is so returned, the House or Houses shall reconsider the Bill accordingly, and if the Bill is passed again by the House or Houses with or without amendment and presented to the Governor for assent, the Governor shall not withhold assent therefrom”.

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