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Calcutta HC seeks affidavit from Raj Bhavan on Bill to replace Guv by CM as Chancellor of state universities

Calcutta HC bench stays order directing Partha Chatterjee to appear for CBI grilling. Image Source: IANS News

Kolkata Sep 12 : The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday sought an affidavit from the Raj Bhavan on a PIL filed against Governor C.V. Ananda Bose’s decision to not give assent to the West Bengal University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The Bill proposes to replace the Governor with the Chief Minister as the Chancellor of all state universities.

The division bench of Justice Indra Prasanna Mukerji and Justice Hirnamay Bhattacharya has directed the Raj Bhavan authorities to file the affidavit by October 4. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on October 16.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the counsel for the state government said the Bill was passed on the floor of Assembly on June 7 last year. Although the bill was forwarded to the Governor’s House on June 15 last year, the Governor has not given his assent to it till date.

The counsel for the state government argued that once a Bill is passed by the state Assembly and forwarded to the Governor, the latter can either give assent to it or send it back to the Assembly for reconsideration. The Governor can also forward the Bill to the office of the Indian President for the latter’s consideration.

However, instead of adopting any of the three paths, the Governor’s House is just sitting on it, the counsel argued.

The deputy solicitor general in his counter argument claimed that the PIL is politically motivated. He also argued that as per the Constitution, no decision of the Governor, nor any matter related to a decision taken by the state Assembly, can be taken by any court.

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