Bharat Express

Governor Of Punjab Sets Aside 3 Bills To Get Approval From President Droupadi Murmu  

These three contentious bills have been at the core of the most recent disputes between Purohit and the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab.

Governor Of Punjab

Governor Of Punjab, Banwarilal Purohit

On Wednesday, Governor Banwarilal Purohit set aside three bills that were approved by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in June of this year for President Droupadi Murmu to review. These contentious bills—the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023—have been at the core of the most recent disputes between Purohit and the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab.

The first attempt is to ensure that ‘Gurbani’ is not commercialized in any way and to provide free-to-air telecast of the Gurbani from the Golden Temple in Amritsar by revising the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, which was enacted during the British rule.

Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill

With the passage of the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the chief minister would take the governor’s seat as chancellor of 11 state-run universities. After a stalemate with the governor about the process for designating vice-chancellors of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the AAP government introduced the Bill.

The Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill

The Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023 aims to eliminate the process for choosing state police chiefs that is mandated by the Supreme Court. According to Article 200 of the Constitution, the governor has reserved these three Bills for the President of India’s consideration, a Raj Bhavan official stated.

According to Article 200, “When a Bill has been passed by the legislative assembly of a state or, in the case of a state having a legislative council, has been passed by both Houses of the legislature of the state, it shall be presented to the governor and the governor shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.”

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Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Bill

The Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Bill, 2023 received the governor’s assent last week. Its goal is to simplify the Punjab Educational Tribunal’s operations for privately funded colleges with government assistance.

During the two-day special session on June 19 and 20, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha cleared all four Bills that had been waiting with the governor. Purohit referred to the June 19–20 session, which was held following the budget session’s sine-die adjournment in March rather than a prorogation, as “patently illegal,” raising questions about the validity of the bills enacted during the House session.

Following the Supreme Court’s declaration that the June 19–20 session was constitutionally legitimate, the governor was requested to make decisions regarding four bills that had been passed during the sitting and were still pending.