Governor withholding assent to Bill against online rummy unjustified: says Justice Chandru

Retired judge of Madras High Court K. Chandru, who headed the committee that recommended a ban on online rummy to the Tamil Nadu government, said on Friday that Governor R.N. Ravi withholding assent to the the Bill against online rummy was unjustified.

He was speaking at a conference, ‘Constitution and the limits of Governor’s powers’, organised by the ruling DMK’s legal wing at Periyar Thidal here. Mr. Chandru asked why the Governor was not granting assent to the Bill after he promulgated an ordinance that had the same text as the Bill.

When approached by gambling industry representatives to present their side, he said, the committee headed by him refused to entertain their views by stating that lives were being lost because of online gaming with stakes. He criticised the Governor for meeting them.

Tracing the activities of the Governors of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana, Mr. Chandru said their agenda seemed to be to create instability as these States were ruled by parties opposed to the BJP. While there had been Governors in the past whose actions came in for criticism, the case of these Governors, especially of Mr. Ravi, was different as they were keen on propagating Hindutva ideology, he alleged.

Criticising the attempt by these Governors to establish their hold on the State universities, he said the appointment of Governors as Chancellors was based on the model followed in Britain, but they had no real powers.

Pointing to the recent clarification issued by Mr. Ravi on the “Tamizhagam-Tamil Nadu” controversy, he said the Governor was only now beginning to realise what Tamil Nadu is. He said the time had come to create a campaign for abolishing the post of Governor.

Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani said the recent actions of Mr. Ravi, especially in the Assembly, showed his lack of understanding of the constitutional provisions. As for Mr. Ravi’s criticism of The Tirukkural’s translation by G.U. Pope, he said the Governor should read the Constitution instead of commenting on translation from a language that he did not know.

Member of Parliament and DMK legal wing secretary N.R. Elango said that apart from the constitutional provisions, the debates that happened in the Constitutional Assembly showed that the Governors were to act only on the advice of the State governments. DMK legal wing president R. Viduthalai elaborated on the Sections of the Constitution that defined the powers of Governor.

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