Friday, September 22, 2023

Supreme Court agrees to hear plea by AAP government against Punjab Governor’s refusal to summon Budget Session

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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea moved by the Punjab Government over refusal by Governor Banwarilal Purohit to summon the budget session of the State Assembly, after Chief Minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann wrote a derogatory letter to the Governor. 

Today morning,the matter was mentioned before a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Advocate Singhvi said that how can a letter or statement should refrain him from convening a session. 

The CJI after finding that the session atarts this Friday asked the matter to be up at 3:50 pm today somewhere the same time as Manish Sisodia case.

The Punjab government had moved Supreme Court without wasting any time for relief after the State’s Governor Banwarilal Purohit refused to summon the budget session of the Punjab legislature, which is to start this Friday (3rd March) after the CM Punjab sent a derogatory letter to him.

On the basis of report,Mann had sent the letter after he tweeted on February 14 that he is not accountable to the Governor and that he is only accountable to the 3 crore Punjabis who had elected him. 

The letter however requested the Governor to summon the budget session of the Legislative Assembly.

The Governor replied by stating that he would not be acceding to the request until he gets legal advice on the “patently unconstitutional” and “extremely derogatory” conduct by the Chief Minister. 

This all began when Chief Minister Mann had received a letter by the Governor Purohit wherein the Governor had questioned the Chief Minister on the selection of school principals for a training trip to Singapore.

The Governor in his latter had mentioned about the complaints he has received of “malpractices and illegalities”, as per media reports. 

The letter had raised questions on several other decisions which were taken by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) government in Punjab including on the posting of a police commissioner and the non-disbursal of scholarships to Scheduled Caste (SC) students. 

The Governor had reportedly asked Mann to reply to this letter in a fortnight, failing which he would be compelled to take legal advice for further action.

CM Mann while replying to a letter said that the People of Punjab want to ask, on what basis are the governors in different states selected by the central government in the absence of any specific qualification in the Indian Constitution?” 

This letter and Mann’s tweet, in turn, prompted the Governor to refuse summoning the Budget session

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