Bengal Governor withdrew the power to administer oath to the Speaker of the Assembly

KOLKATA: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has withdrawn Speaker Biman Banerjee’s power to administer oath of office to members of the state legislature, potentially leading to a long-running battle between the state’s top constitutional authority and the Trinamool Congress. I am opening another front. TMC) Govt.

Chatterjee said, “We have formally requested the governor to administer the oath before noon on October 7. We are hopeful that once the notification is issued, he will come to the assembly building and administer the oath of office to the chief minister and both the MLAs. ” Said Monday afternoon.

The Governor issued a statement on Twitter at 7.30 pm on Monday. Stating that he had studied the note sent to him by the government on October 1, Dhankhar wrote: “The exercise and proceedings at the level of the assembly and the government have clearly arisen under the erroneous notion of law. In the context of the legal system in force, once the result of the bye-election is gazetted, the matter shall be brought to my notice through proper channel under a call deemed fit under Article 188 of the Constitution. On this basis, as and when gazette notification is issued by the applicable legal system, a call will be taken in the form of afforestation.

Amal Mukhopadhyay, former principal of Presidency College and constitutional expert, said, “I am shocked. The governor cannot take such a decision. Since 1952, it has been the practice that the Governor authorizes the Speakers of the Assembly to administer the oath of office to the MLAs. The constitution also says that the governor will present the budget or hand it over to someone. But according to tradition, no one other than the Finance Minister presents the budget. The same applies to the Union Budget as well.”

The bitter relations between the state government and Dhankhar have been on display time and again since he took over as governor in July 2019. The TMC leaders said on condition of anonymity that Dhankhar’s latest move may start a new row with CM Banerjee and the speaker.

Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and the Governor recently clashed over the latter’s request to telecast his speech live in the Assembly. The speaker did not allow it. The speaker also complained that Dhankhar was interfering in his work. In a strongly worded sent to the Speaker on September 15, the Governor said: “Under Article 176 of the Constitution, I addressed the Assembly on February 7, 2020 and July 2, 2021. On both occasions, in an ’emergency’ like situation. , the address was blacked out.”

He said, “I urge you to engage in soul-searching, believe in the constitutional essence and spirit and direct the actions and conduct keeping in view the constitutional prescriptions and justification demanded by the office you hold.” ,” They said.

The Vidhan Sabha official quoted above said that the Raj Bhavan letter states that it is the Governor who has the power to administer the oath of office to the ministers and MLAs. “When the governor administers the oath of office to the ministers at the Raj Bhavan, the speaker acts as the governor’s representative when the legislators are administered oath in the assembly. The Raj Bhavan has withdrawn that permission,” the official said. “The letter states that the Constitution empowers the President of India or his representative to administer the oath of office to the members of Parliament. It has been said in the letter that the President delegates this power to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Article 188 deals with oath or affirmation of MPs. “Every member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of a State shall, before taking his seat, make an oath or affirmation before the Governor or any person appointed by him in this behalf in accordance with the prescribed form. Objects in the Third Schedule.”

Biman Banerjee declined to comment on the issue. Officials said Mamata Banerjee called the speaker on Monday and people in her office were in touch with Raj Bhavan regarding his swearing-in as a member of the House.

(with agency input)