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Punjab v. Governor 2023: SC Safeguards Democracy



  Dec 05, 2023

State of Punjab v. Principal Secretary to the Governor of Punjab 2023 : A Landmark Ruling on Governor



Clarifying the Constitutional Mandate of Governors

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court decisively outlined the constitutional limitations and obligations of state governors, reinforcing the pillars of democratic governance and the essence of federalism.

Democracy and Federal Balance: The Court’s Interpretation

The ruling addresses the governor’s authority to assent to legislation, ensuring that this power is not wielded to undermine the legislative process or the will of democratically elected bodies.

The Supreme Court on Governors’ Powers

The Court’s decision draws from past precedents to assert that while governors play a crucial role within the Indian federal structure, their actions must align with democratic ethos, preventing any overreach that could disrupt the federal equilibrium.

Governors as Facilitators of Legislative Intent

Emphasizing the non-partisan role of governors, the Supreme Court’s ruling directs governors to facilitate, not frustrate, the legislative intent, thus preserving the sanctity of the legislative process within the states.

The Constitutional Dynamics of Federalism

This judgment elucidates the nuanced relationship between state legislatures and governors, highlighting that the governor’s role is not to serve as an impediment but as a constitutional checkpoint that respects the legislative intent.

Preventing Misuse of Gubernatorial Powers

The Court’s directive is clear: governors are to act promptly on legislation, avoiding indefinite delays that could be construed as a tactic to obstruct the legislative process, thereby preserving the democratic fabric of the nation.

The judgment serves as a constitutional doctrine, ensuring that the governors, though unelected, uphold the democratic process and act as impartial facilitators within the federal structure of India, not as agents of party politics or as obstacles to governance.


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