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Why convene session when case related to Guv is in SC: EPS asks TN govt

In his speech, EPS urged the TN government to assess the legal tangles in implementing Bills.

Why convene session when case related to Guv is in SC: EPS asks TN govt

CHENNAI: Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palansiwami on Saturday questioned the State government for convening the special session of the State Assembly to readopt the 10 bills 'returned' by the Governor when the Supreme Court was seized off the matter.

Palaniswami also engaged in an elaborate discussion with the treasury benches over the legality of readopting the withheld bills.

Speaking on the resolution moved by the Chief Minister for reconsidering and passing the 10 Bills 'withheld' by the Raj Bhavan, argued that the Bill must be considered as live if it were withheld by the Governor, and therefore it must not be construed as rejected by the Governor.

Joining the issue, state law minister S Regupathy took exception to the LoP's inference and said that some people have been wrongly feeding information to the people that the bills have not been returned.

Accusing the Governor of hiding behind legal loopholes, Regupathy also quoted extensively from the Constituent Assembly debates dated August 1, 1949, between professor Saxena and TT Krishnamachari over the authority of the legislature to readopt bills.

Rushing to the defence of his Cabinet colleague, Leader of the House Duraimurugan recalled the famous "If I put a bill in cold storage, it is deemed dead," statement of the Governor and said that the House has the duty to examine if the Bill was alive.

Lending credence to his colleague Regupathy's reasoning, State Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu said that a withheld bill was tantamount to a rejected one.

Thennarasu also cited the clarification offered by the solicitor general of the Union government in the courts on the status of withheld bills.

Intervening in the debate, Speaker M Appavu recalled the reasoning given by former AIADMK Minister C Ve Shanmugham in the NEET exemption bill issue to defend the re-adoption of the bills and said that article 201 authorizes the House to reconsider and readopt the Bills.

The House has the sovereignty to examine the Bills any number of times, and the Constitution does not say if a withheld could not be reconsidered and readopted, Appavu said, adding that he has the authority under rule 286 of TNLA rules and the Constitution to allow a discussion of the bills.

Chief Minister Stalin intervened to ensure that his government would protect the federalism and rights of the State when EPS reiterated the need to convene a special session again.

When EPS sought to know if the petition in SC was for the 12 Bills in question or all bills so far pending with the Governor, the CM clarified that the government would advance strong arguments during the case hearing to secure assent for all bills sent for Raj Bhavan's assent.

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