Punjab Governor says June session is violation of law as Gurdwara Bill awaits his nod

Chandigarh: Questioning the validity of four bills passed by the Punjab Assembly last month, Governor Banwarilal Purohit has said that the special assembly session called by the Aam Aadmi Party government on June 19 and 20 was in “violation of law and procedure”. , a statement termed “unfortunate” by the ruling AAP.

In a letter to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the governor said he has received legal advice on the matter and believes it is a violation of the law.

This came in response to a letter sent by the CM on Saturday, in which Mann accused the governor of delaying the approval of the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and said it was being passed to end the monopoly on broadcasting. was passed. Gurbani from Darbar Sahib by a news channel owned by a political family. This bill, along with the Punjab Police Amendment Bill, was sent to the governor for his assent on June 26, a few days after the other two bills were sent for his assent. Without mentioning it in the letter, the Governor has questioned the validity of the other three Bills – the Punjab Police Amendment Bill, 2023, (regarding the appointment of state DGPs); The Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Protection of Services) Amendment Bill, 2023, and the Punjab University Laws Amendment Bill, 2023, (which provides for the removal of the governor from the post of chancellor of state universities) – and these are also unlikely to be approved soon Is.

After the two-day session last month, the governor had said he would examine the constitutional validity of the first session. He had said that he wanted to see whether the special session was an extension of the budget session as the assembly was not prorogued. He had said, “If it was an extension, we need to examine whether the Bills can be passed or the proceedings should be restricted to budget-related business only.”

In his letter today, the Governor said: “I want to state that as Governor, I am mandated by the Constitution to ensure that Bills are passed in accordance with the law. In order to conscientiously discharge my duties, I have proceeded to obtain legal advice… In the background of the legal advice received, I am actively considering whether to obtain legal opinion from the Attorney General of India , or may be reserved in accordance with the Constitution. These Bills are for the consideration and assent of the President of India. As Chief Minister, you would appreciate that the people of Punjab are equally concerned to ensure that laws that ultimately affect them are passed after following due process. Rest assured that I will take action as per law after examining the legality of the assembly session held on June 19-20,” he wrote.

AAP’s chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said it was unfortunate and wrong that the session called by the government was declared unconstitutional. “The governors are acting on the policy of harassing non-BJP state governments adopted by the BJP-led Center as the saffron party is nervous about the performance and rising popularity of the Mann government,” he said.