The Supreme Court on Monday, 20 March, sought the Centre’s position on the Telangana government’s plea seeking a direction to state Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to clear all the 10 bills awaiting her assent.
Seeking the Centre’s stand on the issue, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, heading a bench also comprising Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala, said: “Who do we issue notice to? Normally we don’t issue notice to Governor.”
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the Telangana government, told the bench that notice can be issued to Governor’s secretary. “That’s why we’re saying issue notice to the secretary of the Governor,” Dave told the bench.
However, Chief Justice Chandrachud said, “We’ll issue notice to the Union of India.”
Related: Raj Bhavan is nearer than Delhi: Telangana Governor
Offers the view of Centre
At this Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the court not to issue the notice since Governor is a constitutional functionary and offered to place before the court the views of the central government on the Telangana government petition.
Taking note of the solicitor general’s statement, the court posted the matter for hearing on 27 March.
Telangana government moved the Supreme Court as 10 bills passed by the state legislature are pending assent in the Governor’s office.
Out of the 10 bills, seven were pending with the Governor since 14 September last year, and the remaining since 3 January.
The Telangana government has sought a declaration that the Governor by her inaction in giving assent to the bills pending with her has acted against the constitutional mandate.
Related: Govt seeks SC direction to Governor to give nod to pending bills
Telangana government has sought from the court a direction to the Governor to forthwith give assent to the bills pending in her office.
It has drawn the attention of the court to constitutional impasse that is often created in the state due to the inaction of the Governor in clearing the bills.
The Telangana petition says: “Article 200 is couched in mandatory language as it repeatedly uses the word ‘shall’ thereby clearly suggesting that the Governor must act as soon as possible to either grant assent or withhold the assent and return the bill as envisaged only on the advice of the council of ministers.
“In a parliamentary democracy, the Governor has 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.”
The pending bills
The bills pending with the Governor include:
- The Azamabad Industrial Area (Termination and Regulation of Leases) (Amendment) Bill, 2022
- The Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022
- The Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022
- The University of Forestry Telangana Bill, 2022
- The Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022
- The Telangana Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2022
- The Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2022
- The Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2023
- The Telangana Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill 2023
- The Telangana Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2023