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Supreme Court disposes of Telangana government plea after Governor gives assent to 10 pending bills

The Supreme Court on Monday disposed of the petition filed by the Telangana government seeking directions to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to clear the 10 bills passed by the Legislative Assembly, which were awaiting her assent, after the Apex Court was informed that all pending bills had been assented to by the Governor. 

The Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha, while dismissing the plea, observed that the bills should be returned ‘as soon as possible’ to give effect to the first proviso of Article 200 of the Indian Constitution.

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the government of Telangana, asked the court to pass directions, so that the issue could be put at rest for  ‘once and for all’.

As per Dave, the elected government in Telangana was at the mercy of the Governor. He cited the example of Madhya Pradesh, wherein the bills were being assented to within one week, while the process was being completed in 30 days in Gujarat. He alleged that Telangana being an opposition state, such things were happening there.

Representing the Governor, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta said that he would not like to generalise the matter like that. 

Dave alleged that since the SG was a law officer appointed by the Central government, he would not like to generalise the matter. 

After a heated exchange of words, the SG said that shouting would not help before this court.

Dave alleged that the Solicitor has stooped down to such a low level, saying that he (Dave) was shouting. He said the law officer of India had an allergy to him and that the Senior Counsel also had an allergy with the SG.

Dave further alleged that the SG would come to the court and get all the matters adjourned. As per Dave, in his 44 years of legal career, he had not seen someone stoop so low.

The Bench then disposed of the matter, while noting that it was not entering the merits of the issues raised in the petition at this stage leaving the question of law open.

The Apex Court said the first proviso to Article 200 stated that the governor must ‘as soon as possible’ after the presentation of the bill for assent return the bill, which was not a money bill together with a message for reconsideration to the house or houses of state legislature. 

It further said that the expression ‘as soon as possible’ had a significant constitutional intent and must be borne in mind.

(Case title: State of Telangana vs Secy To Her Excellency The Hon’ble Governor For The State of Telangana)

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