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Kerala Government Initiates Legal Action Against President Murmu for Withholding Assent for Bills

The Kerala Government has filed a lawsuit against President Droupadi Murmu for withholding assent for four Bills passed by the Kerala Legislature. Additionally, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan is being sued for delaying the Bills and subsequently reserving them for consideration by the President.

The Kerala Government argues that the President’s actions in withholding assent without providing any reasons violate Articles 14, 200, and 201 of the Constitution, labeling them as arbitrary. Furthermore, the State contends that referring the Bills to the President undermines constitutional morality and disrupts the federal structure of governance.

The lawsuit, filed before the Supreme Court, lists the Secretary to the President, the Kerala Governor, and the Additional Chief Secretary to the Governor as respondents. Kerala plans to be represented in the court by a senior lawyer specializing in Constitutional matters along with C.K. Sasi, its Standing Counsel.

The State asserts that the Union Government’s involvement in advising the President to withhold assent to Bills within the State’s jurisdiction undermines the federal structure and encroaches on the State’s domain. The actions of the Governor, particularly in bundling up Bills for referral to the President after significant delays, are seen as deliberate attempts to evade constitutional duties.

The Kerala Government maintains that the Governor’s actions disrupt the balance envisioned by the Constitution among the three organs of the State and subvert the federal structure. By reserving Bills solely within the State’s domain for the President’s consideration, the Governor’s actions render the State Legislature ineffective.

The State’s legal action underscores its commitment to upholding constitutional principles and protecting its legislative autonomy. As the case unfolds in the Supreme Court, it marks a significant moment in the ongoing debate over federalism and the balance of power between the Union and State governments.

 

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