|Introduction: Contextual introduction.|
Body: Explain how a Governor’s constitutional powers to assent to a state bill affect the constitutional order. Also write some steps to rectify the issues in the process.Conclusion: Write a way forward.
The Governor being a part of the State legislature, the process of law making is complete only when he signs it, signifying his assent. There have been many instances of some Governors not acting upon requests to grant clemency or assent to Bills e.g., in Tamil Nādu, Kerala etc.
A Governor’s constitutional powers to assent to a state bill affect the constitutional order in following manner:
- Article 200 of the Constitution provides for four alternative courses of action for a Governor when a Bill after being passed by the legislature is presented to him for his assent. Article 200 does not lay down any time frame to take action under this Article.
- Governor can return the Bill to the legislature with the request that it may reconsider the Bill.
- Governor can reserve the bill for consideration of President. Through this centre exercises this power by vetoing or delaying any legislation through President’s refusal to assent to state’s legislation.
- Article 361 of the Constitution prohibits the court from initiating proceedings against a Governor or the President for any act done in exercise of their powers.
Some Governors use discretionary powers to control the state governments. So following steps are required to rectify the issues:
- The “Punchhi commission- 2010”recommended that there should be a provision for the impeachment of the governor by the state legislature.
- There is a need to strengthen federal setup (Inter-State council and the role of Rajya Sabha) in India.
- The appointment can be made from a panel prepared by the state legislature and actual appointing authority should be the Inter-state Council, not the central government.
- ‘Code of Conduct’ should lay down certain ‘norms and principles’which should guide the exercise of the governor’s ‘discretion’ and his powers.
- Provisions relating to the Governor’s role should be amended to make the following changes:
- Identifying areas of discretion,
- fixing a time-frame for them to act,
- Cabinet advice should be mandatory to act upon in dealing with Bills.
The governor should work in an impartial manner and should not try to create a parallel government. It is important for maintenance of national interests, integrity and internal security.