Kerala govt moves SC against President withholding assent to its bills

In an unusual move, the Kerala government has petitioned the Supreme Court against President Droupadi Murmu withholding assent to four bills passed by the state assembly.

It has requested that the President not granting assent to the bills — University Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2021; the Kerala Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022; the University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022; and the University Laws (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill, 2022 — without stating any reason be declared unconstitutional.

The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has made the Union government, the Secretary to the President of India, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and his additional secretary parties to the case.

Besides several other reliefs, the state government has also sought direction to declare illegal Governor Khan reserving a total of seven bills, including these four, for the consideration of the President.

“The conduct of the Governor in keeping Bills pending for long and indefinite periods of time, and thereafter reserving the Bills for the consideration of the President without any reasons relatable to the Constitution is manifestly arbitrary and violates Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution,” the plea said.

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