Punjab Government moves SC over Governor’s refusal to summon budget session

Ten News Network

Delhi (India), February 28, 2023: Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea moved by the Punjab government over Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s refusal to summon the budget session of the State Assembly. This follows Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann addressing an allegedly “derogatory” letter to the Governor.

The matter was mentioned this morning before a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud by Senior Advocate AM Singhvi.

“Governor says since the CM made some statement in some unconnected matter he will convene the session. How can this be done?” Singhvi submitted.

The CJI informed that the matter would be taken up at 3:50 pm today, along with the Manish Sisodia case.

The Punjab government urgently moved the top court for relief after the State’s Governor Banwarilal Purohit refused to summon the budget session of the Punjab legislature, which is slated to be held on March 3. This follows Mann tweeting on February 14 that he is not accountable to the Governor and that he is only accountable to the 3 crore Punjabis who had elected him. Mann subsequently sent a letter to the Governor containing the request to summon the budget session of the Legislative Assembly.

The Governor responded by intimating that he would not be acceding to the request until he gets legal advice on the “patently unconstitutional” and “extremely derogatory” conduct of the Chief Minister.

Mann’s tweet and letter followed a letter by Governor Purohit, in which the Governor questioned the Chief Minister on the selection of school principals for a training trip to Singapore. The Governor is stated to have written that he had received complaints of “malpractices and illegalities”.

The Governor had reportedly asked Mann to reply to this letter in a fortnight, failing which he would be compelled to take legal advice for further action. The written reply sent by Chief Minister Mann had questioned the basis on which the Governor had held his post. This letter and Mann’s tweet, in turn, prompted the Governor to refuse to summon the budget session.

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