Chandigarh, Nov 16 (PTI) Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit Thursday gave his approval to a money Bill, one of the three proposed legislations withholding consent to which created a row, to table it in the assembly, and also prorogued the Budget session that was convened in March.
The governor's approval is mandatory to table a money bill in the Vidhan Sabha.
Official sources said on Thursday the governor has approved the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023. Earlier, he had approved two other money Bills: the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Indian Stamp (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The governor, meanwhile, also prorogued the Budget session, a day after the Punjab Assembly secretariat wrote to Purohit for it.
"The fourth (Budget) session of Sixteenth Punjab Vidhan Sabha, which was adjourned sine-die at the conclusion of its sitting held on the 20th October, 2023 has been prorogued by an order of the Governor of Punjab, dated 15th November, 2023," said an official spokesperson.
On November 10, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Punjab governor for "indefinitely sitting over" some bills passed by the assembly saying "you are playing with fire".
The apex court also questioned the state government for repeatedly adjourning the Budget session sine die instead of proroguing -- means terminating -- it.
The SC, however, upheld the speaker's supremacy in conducting the business of the House or adjourning its sessions.
The Supreme Court had termed the deadlock between the Punjab government and the governor over the assent to bills passed by the assembly a matter of "serious concern" and said it is not happy with what is happening in the state.
The state government had moved the apex court against Governor Purohit for not giving assent to bills passed by the state assembly.
The Budget session, which was convened in March, was adjourned sine die but it was not prorogued. The state government convened a special session on June 19 and 20 which was the extension of the Budget session.
In this session, four bills -- the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Bill, 2023, were passed.
These bills are yet to be given assent by the governor who called the June session as "patently illegal".
The state government again called a two-day session on October 20-21 which was projected as an extension of the Budget session.
Purohit had then stated that the October 20-21 session was "bound to be illegal" and any business conducted during it "unlawful". The Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Indian Stamp (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2023 were to be tabled in the House during the October 20-21 session.
But the governor withheld his approval to these three money bills.
On October 20, the state government had cut short its two-day session and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann then announced that the government would move the Supreme Court against the governor for withholding his approval to the three bills slated to be tabled in the House. After the Mann government moved the SC, Purohit gave approval to two of the three money bills. PTI CHS VSD TIR TIR