Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi lauded for his firm and sincere stand on bills in state

The decision of Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi, in withholding assent to certain bills in THE state, has received full support from constitutional experts and academicians.

“The utmost duty of the Governor is to uphold the Constitution. While she or he has limited discretion and must usually abide by the advice of the Council of Ministers, the Constitution allows the Governor power to withhold assent or even reserve the same for the consideration of the President of India. A Bill which directly contradicts Supreme Court and High Court judgements, derogates from the scheme of the Constitution and is potentially unconstitutional, is the perfect example of a rare and exceptional case for the Governor to use the powers under Article 200,” said Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Founder Vice Chancellor of National Law University Delhi and NALSAR University of Law.

Experts have pointed out that there have been several instances in the past where the Governor’s intervention and their courageous stand have led to several misguided legislation being stalled.

In 2017, the then Governor of Jharkhand, Droupadi Murmu, returned the controversial amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, back to the government, as it was seen as anti- people. The then BJP state government honoured her sentiments by not placing the bill again.

In July 2022, when she was elected as President of India, Droupadi Murmu was feted by the media as “The Governor who refused to crack under pressure”

In 2016, Karnataka was in serious threat of reduction of parks, playgrounds and green cover in its urban areas, because of a hastily passed legislation. The then Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala rightly refused to give his assent to the bill that sought to reduce the reserved green space in urban areas. Governor Vala famously said that the bill “affects the essential basic rights of the citizen”

Among the bills that the Tamil Nadu Governor has not given assent to are the TN Universities Bill that seeks to curtail the Governor’s role in the appointments of Vice Chancellors to the state universities and the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022.

The contentious Gaming bill has been silent on how to control the menace of foreign betting and gambling operators, while seeking to ban legitimate Indian gaming platforms. It also comes in the backdrop of the Madras High Court Judgement of August 20221 that struck down an amendment made to the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, which imposed a ban on online gaming of rummy and poker offered by legitimate home grown companies.

Moreover, a Rotary study had found reports of online rummy suicides in TN highly exaggerated. The study by Rotary Rainbow Project of Chennai working closely with the families of suicide victims, found that several instances of deaths caused by old age issues of loan sharks and debt traps, have been falsely attributed to online rummy.

Another study by eminent researcher, Dr Sandip H. Shah, Professor of Psychiatry and Dean, Government Medical College, Godhra, said that there is insufficient data within the public domain to conclude that a suicide has been caused by online gaming in Tamil Nadu.




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