Governors should do their duty, not sit on bills: SC judge | India News

HYDERABAD: SC judge Justice BV Nagarathna Saturday questioned the way some governors were withholding assent to bills sent by state govts and said it was embarrassing for courts to tell governors to do their duty.
Delivering the inaugural address at the ‘Courts and Constitution-2023 in Review’ conference at Nalsar University, the judge also criticised the demonetisation move, saying it helped black-money hoarders while the common man suffered.
Embarrassing to tell guvs to do their duties: SC judge
A new trend of governors is being seen in country now. It is embarrassing for courts to tell governors to do their specified duties under the Constitution and also not to delay assent to bills,” Justice Nagarathna said.

It is embarrassing for courts to tell governors to do their specified duties under the Constitution and also not to delay assent to bills… It is not a healthy trend under the Constitution to drag guvs to courts. Their post is a serious constitutional post. They must discharge their duties responsibly

SC judge BV Nagarathna

Justice Nagarathna, who was part of the five-judge bench that upheld Centre’s power to demonetise, however, was the only judge who wrote a note in the judgment disapproving of the hasty manner in which the decision was taken and implemented.
Referring to the decisions of the governors of Maharashtra and Punjab, she said SC had to intervene to set things right. “In case of Maharashtra (assembly floor test after Uddhav Thackeray govt fell in May 2023), it was a question of whether governor had objective material to call for a floor test. They did not have any objective material to indicate the incumbent govt had lost confidence of legislators,” she said.
In that sense, the judge said, 2023 was a remarkable year as SC had delivered several judgments to protect integrity of democratic institutions and preserve their heritage.
She said in case of Punjab, governor held back four bills. Court reminded the governor that he cannot withhold assent indefinitely. “He has become a point of litigation by sitting over the bills,” she said.
She said, “It is not a healthy trend under the Constitution to drag governors to courts. Post of a governor is a serious constitutional post. They must discharge their duties responsibly.”
On demonetisation, the senior judge said though the aim was to eradicate black money, the abrupt way in which Centre implemented it (from Nov 8, 2016) only ended up helping law breakers convert their black money into white. “In addition, it caused trouble to common people who struggled to convert their old notes into new currency,” she added.
“There was no consultation at any level. There was no decision-making process either. One evening the policy was communicated among departments concerned and the policy came into force next evening,” she said.

Source link