Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.
- Ongoing proceedings in the Supreme Court have raised apprehensions regarding the behavior of some Governors, particularly in their handling of Bills presented for assent.
- State governments have approached the court, expressing concerns about the deliberate delay tactics used by incumbents in Raj Bhavan.
Governors’ Conduct and Court Intervention:
- The core issue revolves around the misuse of the absence of a defined time-frame for granting assent to Bills, causing frustration for elected regimes.
- The court questioned the delay in the case of the Tamil Nadu Governor, R.N. Ravi, emphasizing that he acted only after the court highlighted the delay in a prior hearing.
- The court’s preliminary observations suggest a closer examination of Article 200 of the Constitution, dealing with the presentation of Bills to the Governor for assent.
Legislative Impasse and Court’s Observations:
- The court indicated that Governors cannot refuse assent to re-enacted Bills, potentially providing a swift resolution to the current legislative impasse.
- However, the larger issue demands a clear enunciation of the law to prevent uncooperative Governors from exploiting ambiguities.
Constitutional Ambiguities and Role of Governors:
- The proceedings have underscored constitutional ambiguities regarding the role of Governors.
- While the ‘aid and advice’ clause, fundamental to parliamentary democracy, is compromised by clauses allowing Governors discretionary powers, a comprehensive reconsideration of such provisions is needed.
Call for Authoritative Decision:
- The Supreme Court must deliver a decisive and authoritative decision to clarify whether ‘withholding assent’ is a final act of rejection or requires follow-up action.
- This will prevent Governors from using gray areas to their advantage and ensure a more transparent and accountable governance process.
Question: Critically analyze the constitutional ambiguities surrounding the role of Governors and the need for a comprehensive reconsideration of relevant provisions to ensure transparent and accountable governance.