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TN government files writ petition in SC against Governor RN Ravi

Utkarsh Classes 31-10-2023
TN government files writ petition in SC against Governor RN Ravi Law & Order 7 min read

In October 2023, the Tamil Nadu government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against its Governor Dr. R N Ravi. The Tamil Nadu government has accused Governor R N Ravi of presenting himself as a 'political rival' to the state government.

  • The Tamil Nadu government, in its plea, has alleged that the Governor is hindering the ability of the Assembly to discharge its duties by causing inordinate delays in considering bills passed by the Assembly.

Allegations of inaction on the Governor in the discharge of his duties

  • Saying that the Governor's inaction has created a "constitutional impasse between the constitutional head of the State and the elected government of the State", the state has sought specified timelines by which the Governor may withdraw all orders, pending bills, bills forwarded by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and government.
  • The state government, through its petition, has accused the Governor of not properly discharging his responsibilities towards the state government.
  • According to the petition, the Governor has not only kept several bills pending, but has also failed to grant sanction for prosecution and investigation of various offenses of corruption.
  • Moreover, various applications for appointment of Chairman and Members of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission are still pending with the Governor. Due to the same, it was alleged that the Commission which should have a Chairman and 14 members, is functioning with only 4 members, one of whom also holds the additional charge of Chairman.

Accused of blocking state administration:

  • According to the petition filed in the Supreme Court, the Governor has blocked the day-to-day files, appointment orders, recruitment orders, sanction to prosecute ministers and MLAs involved in corruption, transfer of investigation by the Supreme Court to CBI. By not signing the bills passed by the Assembly and by not cooperating with the state administration, he is creating an adverse attitude.

State government's appeal to the Supreme Court:

  • The Tamil Nadu government also prayed the Supreme Court to set an external time limit for the Governor to consider the bills passed by the Legislature and sent for assent under Article 200 of the Constitution in the light of the Sarkaria Commission recommendations.
  • In this case the first respondent and the second respondent, in accordance with the Constitution, the Governor of the State appointed by the Union, established themselves as political rivals of the legitimately elected government by obstructing the ability of the Assembly to function.
  • The governor is "engaging in politically motivated actions", the petition said, adding that by not acting on his constitutional duties he is playing with the mandate of the citizen.
  • It is to the satisfaction of the Council of Ministers, on whose aid and advice the President or Governor normally exercises all his powers and functions.
  • The petition argued that the consent of the Governor does not involve any element of discretion on the part of the person holding the said post, rather such consent should be based only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • It said that even though Article 200 of the Constitution, which gives governors the power to grant permission/withhold permission, does not specifically fix any time limit for the governor, it "shall declare" and "as soon as possible".
  • This shows how promptly the Governor should act. According to the plea, "Refusal to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers or willful inaction on the part of the Governor in acting on the Bills or files, including any delay, will defeat parliamentary democracy and the will of the people.
  • This results in violation of the basic structure of the Constitution. Emphasizing that even though the Governor holds the office of head of the state executive, he is the "nominal head" and in fact the executive government is run by the Council of Ministers in every state. Thus, their inaction has usurped the functions of the "true Legislature" of the State.

This type of petition filed against the Governor of Telangana:

  • In April 2023, while considering a similar petition filed by the State of Telangana against the Governor of Telangana, the Supreme Court had said that the Governor should return the Bill "as soon as possible" in terms of Article 200.

FAQ

Answer:- Tamil Nadu

Answer:- Dr. R N Ravi

Answer:- In April 2023, a writ petition has been filed by the State of Telangana in the Supreme Court against the Governor of Telangana;

Answer:- The Supreme Court had said that the Governors should return the Bill "as soon as possible" in terms of Article 200.
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