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Punjab Guv claims right to demand legislative biz info, cites rulebook

Purohit had sought information from the government about issues to be taken up in the Assembly session called by the state government on 27 September in the wake of a bribery offer allegedly made by the BJP to AAP MLAs to win over their support.

SNS | Chandigarh |

In response to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party questioning his authority to seek details of legislative business, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, on Saturday, reminded Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of certain Articles of the Constitution whereby he said the CM is duty-bound to furnish information requisitioned by him.

Purohit had sought information from the government about issues to be taken up in the Assembly session called by the state government on 27 September in the wake of a bribery offer allegedly made by the BJP to AAP MLAs to win over their support.

In a letter to the CM, the Governor said, “After reading your statements in today’s newspapers, it appears to me that perhaps you are ‘too much’ angry with me. I think your legal advisors are not briefing you adequately. Perhaps your opinion about me will definitely change after reading the provisions of Article 167 and 168 of the Constitution, which I’m quoting for your ready reference.. “.

He said under Article 167, it is the duty of the CM of each state to furnish information to the governor.  It includes the CM’s duty to “communicate to the Governor of the state all decisions of the council of ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation,”.

The governor said under Article 167, a CM is duty-bound to “furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for and if the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the council of ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which has not been considered by the council,”.

Purohit said under Article 168, for every state there shall be a legislature which shall consist of the Governor and Assembly.

Triggering a war of words between Punjab Governor and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the former on Friday had asked the Punjab Assembly secretary to give details of the legislative business to be taken up in the Assembly session on 27 September.

Responding to this, Mann had said in a tweet, “Governor/President consent before any session of Legislature is a formality. In 75 years, no President/Governor ever asked for a list of Legislative business before calling a session. Legislative business is decided by BAC (Business Advisory Council) and the speaker. Next Governor will ask for all speeches to be approved by him. It’s too much.”