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“Need Constitutional Discourse”: Court On Punjab Government vs Governor



The latest stand-off between the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab and Governor Banwarilal Purohit indicates a need of constitutional discourse, the Supreme Court said today, sending a strong message to both sides. “The failure of a constitutional authority to fulfill its duty would not be a justification for another to fulfill his distinct duty under constitution,” said Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, who headed the bench hearing the case.

“We may belong to different political parties. The office of the Governor is not from a party, but we have to have a constitutional discourse,” the Chief Justice added.

The case had stemmed from a face-off between the Governor and the Chief Minister over some information sought by Mr Purohit, who then delayed convening the  state assembly for the budget session.  In a letter to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the Governor had also indicated that he is in no hurry to summon the session and reminded the Chief Minister about his “derogatory” response to a letter from Raj Bhavan.

“The tone of the Chief Minister left much to be desired. Not furnishing the information would be against his constitutional duty. Yet on the other hand, the dereliction of the Chief Minister to do so would not allow the Governor to not do his constitutional duty to summon the budget session,” Justice Chandrachud said.

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