Reservation Row: Bilaspur HC Stays its Order to Issue Notice to Raj Bhavan

BILASPUR: The Bilaspur high court on Friday stayed its own order to issue notice to Raj Bhavan on a petition challenging the ‘delay’ in governor’s assent to the 76% reservation bills, which was passed by the state legislative assembly on December last year.

The bench of Justice Rajani Dubey hearing the arguments on an application moved by Raj Bhavan Counsel B Gopakumar said, “One of the silences in the Constitution is in Article 200 which does not prescribe a timeline for the governor to provide assent to Bills sent by the Legislative Assembly. These applications have been filed on the ground that the Secretary to the Governor is also protected on behalf of the Governor. Without commenting anything on the said issue at this stage, considering the orders of the Supreme Court and the provisions of Article 200 of the Constitution of India, it is ordered that till a decision on the aforesaid applications, the effect and operation of the order dated 6.2.2023 passed shall remain stayed.”

The HC had on Feb 6th, had issued notice to governor’s secretariat on a petition challenging the ‘delay’ in granting governor’s assent to the reservation bills. They demanded a reply by January 18th. Later, the governor’s secretariat moved an application seeking recall of the order and staying on its effect and operation.

Gopakumar maintained that under Article 361 the President, or the governor of a state shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties.

The court has fixed February 24 as the next date for the hearing.

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