TS, Governor end row on Budget Session

Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan advised Governor’s and govt’s counsels to hold deliberations rather than dragging the judiciary into controversy

Update: 2023-01-30 19:10 GMT
Chief Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao visited Raj Bhavan and met Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Tuesday after a gap of nearly nine months. (Photo: Twitter)

HYDERABAD: The conflict between Raj Bhavan and Pragathi Bhavan over the state Assembly’s Budget Session has been finally resolved after the state government filed a lunch motion on Monday in the Telangana High Court with Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan advising Governor’s and government’s counsels to hold deliberations rather than dragging the judiciary into controversy.

The state Budget Session was scheduled to begin on February 3 but the Governor had not yet approved it, prompting the Telangana state government to file a lunch motion in the High Court. Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan took up a hearing of the lunch motion petition moved by the state government seeking a direction to Governor Dr Tamilsai Soundararajan to approve the state Budget in the Assembly and Legislative Council on February 3. Following the advice of the CJ, counsels of the Telangana government and the Raj Bhavan held discussions. After the deliberations, the court was informed that the two sides had come to an agreement and the petition could be dismissed. During the discussions, it was decided that the Governor would give customary speech during the Budget session, and the Telangana government would provide a copy of the speech.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice questioned the Telangana Advocate General on how the court could give notice to the Governor, who is the head of the Constitution in the state, and asked the AG why the judiciary was being dragged into the dispute between the government and a constitutional institution. “You (politicians and parliamentary members) accuse the judiciary of meddling in all matters and overstepping its bounds when it comes to matters pertaining to legislative and executive choices. You have consistently argued that the judiciary should be kept solely within its purview. Now, how are you asking for judicial review to issue mandamus to the Governor to do the stated duty,” Ujjal Bhuyan questioned.

Senior counsel Ashok Anand appeared on behalf of the Governor despite the court not issuing notices to the Governor as a respondent to the petition filed by the Telangana government. Senior Supreme Court counsel Dushyant Dave representing the Telangana government contended that the Governor was required by the Constitution to ratify the Bills and decisions taken by the Council of Ministers. Citing several Supreme Court judgements, Dave argued that it is not to the personal satisfaction of the President or Governor to approve the decisions taken by the legislation.

During the arguments, Ashok Anand complained that the Governor’s chair was not being respected while arguing that the government has ignored the customary address during the Budget session last year. He also submitted to the court that the CM skipped the Republic Day celebrations at the Raj Bhavan even after an invitation. On the other hand, Dushyant Dave submitted before the court that the statements against the Governor were condemnable, not just because she is the Governor but also because she is a woman.

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