New Delhi: In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India reprimanded the Governors of Punjab and Tamil Nadu on Friday, for delaying their assent to bills passed by the respective state assemblies. A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud cautioned the Governors against deviating from established democratic processes, stating that their actions were tantamount to “playing with fire.”
The Chief Justice expressed serious concern over the Governors’ conduct and questioned whether India would continue to be a parliamentary democracy if such delays became the norm. He emphasized the importance of adhering to traditions and conventions and stressed the need for continuity in governance.
The Punjab government had approached the Supreme Court, alleging that Governor Banwarilal Purohit had been delaying his assent to seven bills, including those related to fiscal management and education, since July. The Tamil Nadu government also sought the court’s intervention, alleging that Governor RN Ravi was intentionally delaying bill clearances and thereby “undermining the will of the people.”
The Supreme Court directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to provide details of the actions taken by Governor Purohit on the pending bills. The court also sought an update on the status of the pending bills in Tamil Nadu.