Governors cannot sit on Bills passed by House: SC

The Supreme Court did some tough talking on Friday over the governors of Punjab and Tamil Nadu delaying assent to bills passed by the state legislatures, cautioning the Raj Bhawan occupant in Chandigarh against “playing with fire” and observing his counterpart in Chennai, accused of “sitting over” 12 bills, was a “matter of concern”.

“You are playing with fire,” the apex court told Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, as it held that being the titular head of the state he cannot cast doubt on the validity of an assembly session or withhold his decision indefinitely on bills passed by the House.

It said under Article 200 of the Constitution, when a bill is presented to the governor, he 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.

The top court, which pulled up the Punjab governor for “indefinitely sitting over” bills passed by the assembly saying “You are playing with fire”, also questioned the state government for repeatedly adjourning the Budget session sine die instead of proroguing it.