SC judgement on Governor’s powers stern rebuke to not only Punjab Guv but to all state heads, says Chidambaram

New Delhi : Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Friday asserted that the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Governor’s powers is a stern rebuke to not only the Punjab Governor but to all state heads and Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi should read every line of it.

In a post on X, Chidambaram, a former union minister in the UPA government said, “The judgement of the Supreme Court on the Governor’s powers is a stern rebuke to not only the Governor of Punjab but to all Governors.”

“R N Ravi, Governor of Tamil Nadu, should read every line of the judgement and, if he thinks it necessary, call a competent senior advocate to explain the judgement to him, ” he added.

His remarks came after the apex court directed Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit to decide on the Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly during its “constitutionally valid” session held on June 19 and 20, saying the governor’s power cannot be used to “thwart the normal course of lawmaking”.

In its November 10 judgement which was uploaded on Thursday night, the Supreme Court decided on the plea of the AAP government in Punjab which alleged the governor was not granting his assent to four bills which were passed by the Assembly.

The Punjab government had also sought a judicial declaration that the Assembly session held on June 19 and 20 was “legal and that the business transacted by the House is valid”.

The judgement stated, “The Governor, as an unelected Head of the State, is entrusted with certain constitutional powers. However, this power cannot be used to thwart the normal course of lawmaking by the state legislatures.”

A bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud said that the loggerheads happening between the Governor and the elected government is a matter of “serious concern.”

“How can you (the Governor) sit in a judgment whether a session has been validly prorogued or otherwise?” asked the bench, also comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

It questioned whether there exists any provision under the Constitution conferring jurisdiction on the Governor to decide if the session has been ‘invalidly’ called by the Speaker.

The Supreme Court said that the Governor of Punjab is “playing with fire” by deflecting the course of bills passed by a duly elected Assembly.

Punjab Raj Bhawan had objected over holding of the special session of the Vidhan Sabha on June 19-20.

The Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Bill, 2023 are still awaiting the Governor’s assent.