Daily News Analysis

Governor’s discretionary Power

22nd November, 2021 Polity

Figure 4: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Context:

  • Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker questioned why the President does not provide reasons for withholding assent and returning a Bill passed by the State Assembly.
  • He also called for setting a binding time frame for the governor for deciding on any Bill. 

 

Bills in Contention:

  • President had withheld assent to two Bills opposing the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2017 when the AIADMK was in power.
  • A Bill to admit students to undergraduate medical courses on the basis of their Plus-Two marks, instead of the NEET score, passed by the DMK government earlier this year was sent to the Raj Bhavan. But its fate remains unknown.

 

Issue with the arbitrary power of governor & President:

  • since the House reflected the will of the people, withholding of assent to a Bill “amounted to rejection of the will of the people of that State”.
  • Indefinite period by the governors and President are eroding the authority of legislatures.

 

Constitutional provisions:

  • As per Article 200of the Constitution, the governor can reserve certain types of bills passed by the State Legislature for the President’s consideration. The President can either give assent to it or ask the governor to send it back for the state legislature to reconsider it, along with his comments.
  • According to Article 200, when a Bill, passed by the Legislature of a State, is presented to the Governor, he has four options:
    • He assents to the Bill
    • He withholds assent
    • He reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President
    • He returns the Bill to the Legislature for reconsideration.

 

Punchi Commission observation regarding the same:

  • A provision should be made according to which the President’s decision to exercise his Pocket Veto Power is communicated within a period of six months to the respective State.