Less than 24 hours after receiving the Governor’s message on Wednesday, the state government called a special session of the Assembly on Saturday to readopt the bills. The CJI-led bench of the Supreme Court is ready to hear the petition of the Tamil Nadu government. The Governor’s “inaction, omission, delay and failure” on Monday.
The bills returned by the Governor include empowering the state government in the administration of state universities, curtailing the powers of the Governor. Two of the returned bills were passed by the previous AIADMK government. The memorandum sent to the President demanded the establishment of the Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical University and the granting of powers to the State Government to appoint the Vice-Chancellor of Madras University.
Assembly Speaker M Appavu said no discussion on the Supreme Court, the President or the Governor would be allowed during the special assembly session beginning at 10 am on Saturday. The Speaker said, “The Legislature has complete sovereignty. The views of the people are brought to the Assembly and passed unanimously. This should be considered by the President and the Central Government.” According to Article 200 of the Constitution, the Governor shall either declare that he assent to the Bill or that he withholds assent thereto or that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.
The returned bills were adopted in April and May last year
Governor RN Ravi had earlier this year approved a re-adopted bill to ban online gambling and regulation of online games and sent the re-adopted anti-NEET bill to the President last year.
The bills returned on Wednesday were largely adopted in April and May last year to amend university laws to provide powers to the state government to appoint vice-chancellors.
In view of the growing conflict between the Raj Bhavan and the government on various issues, the government had learned from the university laws of Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka.
“The bills were returned to the government on Wednesday evening with the note that the Governor has put them on hold, and two more bills are reserved for the President’s consideration,” a source said.
The AIADMK bill, sent to then Governor Banwarilal Purohit in January 2020, had sought to grant the government “powers of inspection and investigation” into the state-funded Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and Tamil Nadu Fisheries University.
It sought inclusion of a ‘government nominee’ in the panel for selection of the Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Fisheries University.
In the review meeting of the Higher Education Department under the leadership of the Chief Secretary in December 2021, it was decided to amend the statutes of 10 universities and include the Finance Secretary in the University Syndicate. The Governor also returned this bill.
Last month, the state government had moved the Supreme Court seeking a deadline for the Governor to consider the bills passed by the legislature.
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