Governor UPSC NOTE

 Governor rejecting the bill

  • Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi has ‘withheld’ assent for certain Bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly

  • This follows the Supreme Court expressing ‘serious concern’ over inaction by the Governor on Bills presented for his assent. 

  • The court expressed displeasure on similar delays by Governors of Telangana, Punjab and Kerala.

  • Article 200 of the Constitution lays down that when a Bill, passed by a State Legislature, is presented to the Governor for their assent, they have four alternatives .

  1. May give assent to the Bill; 

  2. May withhold assent to the Bill, that is, reject the Bill in which case the Bill fails to become law;

  3. May return the Bill (if it is not a Money Bill) for reconsideration of the State Legislature; 

  4. May reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President.

  • Including in the case Shamsher Singh case (1974), the Governor does not exercise their discretionary powers while withholding assent or returning a Bill to the State Legislature. 

  • They are required to act as per the advice of the Council of Ministers

  • The situation of ‘withholding assent’ may arise in case of a Private Members’ Bill (any Member of State Legislature other than a Minister) passed by the State Legislature.

  • if the incumbent government whose Bill has been passed by the legislature falls or resigns before it is assented to by the Governor, the new council may advise the Governor to ‘withhold assent’.

How it affects parliamentary democracy

  • The governor's power to withhold assent to bills passed by the legislature is a significant feature of parliamentary democracies. 

  • This power is intended to act as a check on the legislative branch and to ensure that laws passed by the legislature are in accordance with the constitution and the interests of the people.

Positive effects of governor's withhold of bills:

  • Ensuring constitutional compliance: The governor's power to withhold assent can help to ensure that laws passed by the legislature are in accordance with the constitution. This is important because the constitution is the supreme law of the land, and all other laws must be consistent with it.

  • Protecting the interests of the people: The governor can also use their power to withhold assent to protect the interests of the people. For example, the governor might withhold assent to a bill that is seen as harmful to a particular group of people or that is not in the best interests of the state as a whole.

  • Promoting debate and discussion: The governor's use of this power can also promote debate and discussion about important issues. When the governor withholds assent to a bill, it forces the legislature to reconsider the bill and to publicly explain its reasons for passing it

Negative effects of governor's withhold of bills:

  • Undermining the primacy of the legislature: The governor's power to withhold assent can also undermine the primacy of the legislature. In a parliamentary democracy, the legislature is the supreme lawmaking body, and the governor is supposed to act in accordance with the wishes of the legislature.

  • Delaying the implementation of important laws: The governor's use of this power can also delay the implementation of important laws. If the governor withholds assent to a bill, it can take months or even years for the bill to be passed into law. 

Negative effects of governor's withhold of bills:

  • Eroding public trust in government: The governor's use of this power can also erode public trust in government. If the governor is seen as using their power to block laws that are popular with the people, it can lead to the perception that the government is not responsive to the needs of the people. This can damage the legitimacy of the government and make it more difficult for it to function effectively.

The Sarkaria Commission 1987

  • The commission has submitted that it is only the reservation of Bills for consideration of the President, that too under rare cases of unconstitutionality, that can be implied as a discretionary power of the Governor. 

  • Save in such exceptional cases, the Governor must discharge his functions under Article 200 as per the advice of ministers. 

  • It further recommended that the President should dispose of such Bills within a maximum period of six months. 

  • In the event of the President ‘withholding assent’, the reasons should be communicated to the State Government wherever possible. 

The Punchhi Commission (2010), 

  • This commission had recommended that the Governor should take a decision with respect to a Bill presented for their assent within a period of six months

  • However, these recommendations have not been implemented till date.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Governor UPSC NOTE
Governor UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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