Mohali, December 6: In a significant development, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit has reportedly refused to give his assent to three crucial Bills presented in the Punjab Assembly. These Bills, namely The Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and The Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023, have been reserved for the consideration of the President of India in accordance with Article 200 of the Indian Constitution.
This decision by Punjab Governor Banwarilal marks a departure from the conventional route of the Bills obtaining his assent to become laws in Punjab. Instead, the Bills would now undergo scrutiny and deliberation at the presidential level. Governor Banwarilal Purohit has cited the need for further consultation and advice from the President before finalising the fate of these Bills.
Notably, the Supreme Court, in a judgment dated November 10 and made public on November 23, had directed the Punjab Governor to make a decision regarding the Bills that were passed by the Punjab Assembly during its session on June 19 and 20. The apex court emphasised that "the Governor's authority should not obstruct the regular legislative process, stating that this power cannot be used to impede the normal course of lawmaking".
This directive from the Supreme Court came in response to a plea filed by the AAP government in Punjab, which accused the Governor of withholding his assent to Bills approved by the Assembly. The court's decision sought to address the alleged issue of the Governor's reluctance in granting approval to the Bills that were deemed to have been passed during a constitutionally valid session.