Governors' Delays Call For Reform

Governors' Delays Call For Reform

The recent actions of some governors in Opposition-ruled states, particularly that of Punjab's governor, Banwarilal Purohit, have raised concerns over the delay in signing Bills passed by state legislatures

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, November 07, 2023, 11:56 PM IST
article-image
Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit | ANI

The recent actions of some governors in Opposition-ruled states, particularly that of Punjab's governor, Banwarilal Purohit, have raised concerns over the delay in signing Bills passed by state legislatures. The Supreme Court's recognition of this issue is a step in the right direction, shedding light on a long-standing problem that needs to be addressed promptly. Purohit has been sitting on seven Bills passed by the Assembly, creating a bottleneck in the legislative process. The government's decision to approach the apex court to challenge what it termed "unconstitutional inaction" was a necessary move. However, it is disconcerting that governors often seem to spring into action only when the court intervenes.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has rightly pointed out this troubling trend and cited a similar case in Telangana. The delay tactics employed by governors in Opposition-ruled states are unacceptable and the lack of legal compulsion for them to promptly sign Bills has allowed this behaviour to persist. While it is reasonable for a governor to study a Bill before granting assent, this right should not be exploited to cause unnecessary delays. The prolonged inaction by some governors suggests a disregard for their constitutional duties. Notably, this problem seems to be more prevalent in states ruled by Opposition parties, while governors in BJP-ruled states sign Bills promptly. This stark contrast raises questions about the impartiality of governors in fulfilling their responsibilities.

The apparent politicisation of the governor's role is a more recent development. During the Congress regime, such issues were relatively rare. However, the current landscape has changed, with some governors seemingly believing that it is their duty to obstruct Opposition chief ministers. Their actions often receive tacit approval from their political superiors in Delhi, exacerbating the problem.

To address this unfortunate trend, it is imperative that the President takes the initiative to convene a meeting of governors. This meeting should serve as a platform to remind them of their primary responsibility, which is to ensure the Constitution's faithful adherence in the states, irrespective of their political affiliations. Governors are representatives of the Centre, and their primary allegiance should be to upholding constitutional principles.

The role of a governor is not to engage in political manoeuvring but to uphold the Constitution. The recent actions of some governors are a departure from this constitutional role, and addressing this issue is crucial to maintaining the integrity of our democratic processes. The President's intervention and a renewed understanding of their constitutional responsibilities can help rectify this problem.

RECENT STORIES

Editorial: NEET Is Good, Make It Foolproof

Editorial: NEET Is Good, Make It Foolproof

The Strategic Import of Pelosi Meeting the Dalai Lama

The Strategic Import of Pelosi Meeting the Dalai Lama

How Will The Saffron Party Handle Its Sangh Blues?

How Will The Saffron Party Handle Its Sangh Blues?

Editorial: A Tale Of Two Contests

Editorial: A Tale Of Two Contests

Water Crises And Political Promises: A Tale From Rural Maharashtra

Water Crises And Political Promises: A Tale From Rural Maharashtra