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Telangana pending bills issue: Supreme Court seeks response from Centre

The Supreme Court on Monday sought views from the Union government on a writ petition filed by the Telangana government seeking directions to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to clear 10 key bills passed by the Telangana Assembly, which were pending before her for approval.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, while noting that the Governor was a constitutional functionary, stopped short of issuing notice to the office of the Governor.

Although the Bench was inclined to issue notice to the Central government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, requested the Apex Court not to issue the same since he would seek instructions. 

After the SG agreed to get instructions on the matter, the Apex Court posted the matter for consideration to next week.

The Secretary to the Governor is the first respondent in the petition.

Appearing for the government of Telangana, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave contended that he was constrained to move the Supreme Court under its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India in view of a very frequent ‘constitutional impasse’ created on account of the refusal of the Governor to act on several bills passed by the State Legislature.

He said several key bills, including the Common Recruitment Board Bill passed by the Assembly in September, 2022, was pending before the Governor.

Article 200 of the Constitution empowered the Governor to either assent to a Bill passed by the state legislature, withhold assent therefrom or reserve the Bill for consideration of the President. However, this power was to be exercised as soon as possible, he noted.

The petition mentioned the Bills pending approval by the Governor. 

These included The Azamabad Industrial Area (Termination and Regulation of Leases) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and University of Forestry Telangana Bill, 2022. Other Bills which the Government mentioned included Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022, Telangana Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Telangana Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Telangana Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

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