ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Governors and Their Constitutional Remit


The Supreme Court has recently ruled that a governor cannot unreasonably delay or refuse to ratify a bill passed by a state legislature, highlighting the fact that doing so compromises the legitimacy of elected officials and the legislative process. The 27-page judgment in the State of Punjab v Principal Secretary to the Governor of Punjab and Anr ruled that the governor, who is chosen by the President, only acts as a symbolic head and cannot indefinitely withhold action on bills.

The Supreme Court’s decision has clarified that should the governor choose not to sign a bill, they must send the bill back to the legislature, along with a statement outlining their reasons for not accepting it. This ruling becomes even more significant in the context of the recent disputes between governors and elected governments in several states. Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Punjab have all petitioned the Supreme Court to request orders concerning their individual governors. In fact, the Kerala governor’s office was even requested by the Supreme Court to read its most recent ruling on this issue, which mandates that governors must act within the bounds of the state legislature.

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Updated On : 9th Dec, 2023
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