Governor not calling session is unconstitutional: P Chidambaram

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 27, 2020

P Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday that Governors appointed by the BJP since 2014 have repeatedly violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India. He said, in the process, they have gravely impaired parliamentary democracy, its conventions and traditions.

He said there are at least three landmark judgements of the Courts when the Governors concerned acted in gross violation of the Constitution in Arunachal Pradesh (2016), Uttarakhand (2016) and Karnataka (2019).

"Despite these judgements and the statements of law, the Governor of Rajasthan has stalled — and continues to stall — a perfectly valid request of the Council of Ministers of Rajasthan to convene a session of the Legislative Assembly. It is a settled law that the Governor shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The Governor has no discretion — let me repeat, no discretion at all — in the matter. The questions that the Governor had raised to stall the request were irrelevant and beyond his authority. His current stand that the law gives him a ‘discretion’ to summon the Assembly or not is a complete distortion of the law declared by the Courts," the former Union Home Minister said.

He also added that the fundamental basis of a parliamentary democracy is a functioning legislature. "If the executive government wants the legislature to meet, it has the absolute right and authority to call a session. The Governor is only a formal instrument to sign and issue the summons to the MLAs.”

The senior lawyer said: “If a chief minister who is accused of not enjoying a majority wants to prove his majority, he is entitled to call a session at the earliest to prove his majority..Placing any obstacle to calling the session would undermine the fundamental basis of a parliamentary democracy."

He said the Congress is astonished by the attitude of the Governor of Rajasthan. "We are therefore protesting today before all Raj Bhavans in the country to highlight the gravity of the issue and draw the people’s attention to the violations of the Constitution. We sincerely hope that the Governor of Rajasthan will obey the law — and only the law... He must immediately grant the request of the Council of Ministers and summon a session of the legislative assembly," he said.

Published on July 27, 2020

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