The Supreme Court on Monday asked tough questions of Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi, as it resumed hearing the Tamil Nadu government’s plea against delays in clearing bills.
“These bills were pending since 2020. What was he doing for three years?” it asked.
The court – hearing similar pleas by the Punjab and Kerala governments – also raised a point of law – “can a Governor withhold assent on a bill without sending it back to the Assembly?”
The court’s strong observations come days after Mr Ravi returned ten bills – two of which were passed by the earlier AIADMK government. A furious Tamil Nadu Assembly then held a special session on Saturday to re-adopt all ten bills, which were sent back to the Governor for his assent.
The court this morning noted this development and said, “Assembly has passed the bills again and sent it to the Governor. Let us see what Governor does,” as it adjourned the matter till December 1.
“Once bills are re-passed, they are on the same footing as money bills,” the court pointed out.
The Tamil Nadu government has accused the BJP-appointed Governor of deliberately delaying the bills’ clearance and scuttling the state’s development by “undermining the elected administration”.
In its approach to the court, the ruling DMK said the Governor’s actions were “undermining the will of the people” by deliberately delaying bills sent for clearance and asked for a specific timeframe.