In a recent development, the Supreme Court has raised concerns over the delay on the part of the Tamil Nadu Governor in disposing of bills submitted for his assent since January 2020. The bench, comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra, questioned the Governor’s decision to “withhold” assent on ten bills only after the Court issued notice on a writ petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Government on November 10.
The Court observed that the Governor’s inaction, spanning three years, was a “matter of serious concern.” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, addressing Attorney General for India R Venkataramani, remarked, “What was the Governor doing for three years? Why should the Governor wait for the parties to approach the Supreme Court?”
The Attorney General explained that the dispute revolves around bills seeking to divest the Governor’s powers related to the appointment of Vice Chancellors in State Universities, and some reconsideration is required due to the importance of the issue. However, the bench noted that the oldest of the pending bills was sent to the Governor’s office in January 2020.
The order recorded the dates on which the ten bills were sent to the Governor’s office, ranging from 2020 to 2023. The bench emphasized that the concern is not specific to any particular Governor but pertains to the overall functioning of the Governor’s office in general. The order highlighted the delay in exercising constitutional functions.
After being informed that the Assembly had readopted the ten bills in a special session held last week, the bench adjourned the hearing until December 1 to await further decisions from the Governor.