The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court against the delay by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan in considering bills waiting for his assent, Live Law reported.

In its petition, the state government has argued that Khan has failed in his constitutional duties by unreasonably delaying considering eight bills passed by the legislature, the report added.

Bills passed by legislatures become law only after the governor signs off on them. Article 200 of the Constitution gives governors the power to either grant their approval to a bill, reject it or, in some cases, reserve it for the president’s consideration.

While rejecting the bill, the governor may suggest amendments. However, the legislature is not obligated to accept these suggestions and can pass the bill again in its original form for the governor’s approval. On this occasion, the governor must either give assent or reserve it for the president’s consideration.

“The conduct of the governor, as would presently be demonstrated, threatens to defeat and subvert the very fundamentals and basic foundations of our Constitution, including the rule of law and democratic good governance, apart from defeating the rights of the people of the state to the welfare measures sought to be implemented through the bills,” the Kerala government told the Supreme Court.

Three of the eight bills have been pending with the governor for more than two years. Three other bills have been pending for more than a year, the state government said.

The Left Democratic Front government contended that the Constitution mandates Khan to decide promptly on the bills placed before him, typically within a few weeks.

The government added: “This is because the state legislature, through its elected representatives, has deliberated on the bill and has determined that the public interest necessitates the swift consideration of bills into law as an integral part of state governance”.

Earlier this week, the Tamil Nadu government had moved the Supreme Court accusing Governor RN Ravi of obstructing the Legislative Assembly from carrying out its duties.

In its petition, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government alleged that Ravi has not only kept multiple bills pending but has also not sanctioned the investigation and prosecution in several corruption cases.

The governor’s inaction violates the basic structure of the Constitution, the Tamil Nadu government argued.

Also read: Pocket vetoed: Governors are sitting on bills – and undermining federalism