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Kerala Governor refuses to sign medical admission regularisation bill

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

Dealing a heavy blow to the LDF government in Kerala, state Governor Justice P Sathasivam on Saturday declined to sign the controversial Kerala Professional Colleges (Regularisation of Admission in Medical Colleges) Bill 2018, which was passed by the Assembly on Wednesday to regularise the admissions to two private medical colleges in the year 2016-17
The governor noted that he is “withholding his assent” in the wake of a Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court had struck down the ordinance that was earlier promulgated in the same matter, before the bill was passed by the assembly on 4 April.

According to Article 200 of the Constitution, when a Bill, passed by the Legislature of a State, is presented to the Governor, he has four options. He can assent to the Bill, withhold assent,reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President or return the Bill to the Legislature for reconsideration.

The bill was sent to the Governor along with a note from the additional chief secretary of the health department. In the note, additional chief secretary Rajeev Sadanandan is learnt to have expressed doubt ‘whether the bill would stand legal scrutiny.’

He is understood to have mentioned in the note that the government will have to face the consequences if contempt of court procedures are initiated in connection with the bill.

The Kerala Assembly had on Wednesday unanimously passed the bill to regularise the admissions made in 2016-17 year in Kannur and Karuna self-financing medical colleges, which were cancelled by the Admission Supervisory Committee as it found that these two colleges had admitted students in flagrant violation of norms.

The Kerala High Court and Supreme Court had upheld the Admission Supervisory Committee’s decision. Earlier, the government has issued an ordinance to regularise these admissions.

The Supreme Court on Thursday had stayed the Ordinance, with a strict warning that its order should not be superseded. The court also cancelled the admissions made in the Karuna and Kannur self-financing medical colleges for MBBS course during 2016-17.

On Friday, former KPCC president VM Sudheeran has urged Governor P Sathasivam not to sign the bill passed to regularise the admissions which had already been held as illegal and vitiated by corrupt practices.

Earlier on Saturday,state BJP leaders led by O Rajagopal MLA met the Governor and urged him not to sign the medical bill which aims to regularise the admissions in Kannur-Karuna medical colleges that were made in violation of norms.