It was November 15, the day when the ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) sieged Raj Bhavan. They are determined to remove Arif Mohammed Khan from the Chancellorship of the universities in the state. They are spreading propaganda against him for not signing unreasonable bills they pass in the assembly including the one to clip the feathers of Lokayukta and bring it under the Chief Minister.
P. Rajeev, Industries Minister, CPM leader and the blue-eyed boy of CPM supremo and CM Pinarayi Vijayan, was sharing the dais with Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi. Governor’s speech underlined, in bold letters, the position and powers of the Governor. He stressed Governor is not at all a rubber stamp. Ravi said that the Supreme Court has clearly defined the powers of the Governor. He was addressing the Lokayukta Day celebrations organised by Kerala Lokayukta.
Governor adds, it is quite natural to hear talks here and there that Governor should not do this and that, when Governor intervenes in one issue or another. Those sorts of noises and shouts are irrelevant. What relevant is our Constitution. Governor can intervene when he comes across attempts to destabilise institutions like Lokayukta. Governor has the right to opt strong interventions when there are attempts for legislations which adversely affect Constitutional institutions. There are attempts in several places of the country to destabilise institutions like Lokayukta. Governor said that all are responsible to stop such attempts.
There are several Supreme Court verdicts, pertaining to various cases, stating what powers Governor enjoys and what he does not, whether he is a rubber stamp or not, etc. The Constitutional Bench, of the Supreme Court, presided by Justice Y.V. Chandrachud had defined the powers of the Governor in 1979, while hearing the cases pertaining to the bills. Governor can take three types of decisions according to Article 200, while studying the bills passed by the legislature. He can sign the bill, he can hold it or he can send it to the President for his consideration. R.N. Ravi explained that Supreme Court has clarified the power of the Governor to hold the bill sans communicating the consent.
The programme was conducted in the banquet hall of the Kerala Assembly. Congress leader and LoP in the Kerala Assembly V.D. Satheesan, Minister of Law & Industries P. Rajeev, Lokayukta Jusitce Cyriac Joseph, Upa Lokayuktas Justice Babu Mathew P. Joseph and Justice Harun Al Rasheed and Registrar Shiju Sheikh participated.
Governor R.N. Ravi mentioned these matters close on the heels of the Tamil Nadu Government’s letter to the President requesting to recall the Governor (R.N. Ravi) for refusing to sign the bills passed by the Assembly. Interestingly, leaders of DMK, ruling party of Tamil Nadu, had participated in the demonstration in front of Raj Bhavan.