Legislative Process in States – UPSC GS2

  • Kerala Governor rejected Kerala Government’s request to call a One Day session on Short notice.
  • Rajasthan Governor rejected CMs request to call a session to prove his majority.
Why this is wrong?
  • Against the spirit of the constitution:
    • According to the Constitution, the governor has to summon state legislature to meet for a session based on the recommendation of the council of ministers. Such recommendation is binding on Governor.
    • Such events have a possibility of the snowballing into a constitutional crisis.
  • Dismal record of the sittings of state legislatures:
    • In the last 20 years, state assemblies across the country, on average, met for less than 30 days in a year.
    • However, states like Kerala, Odisha and Karnataka are exceptionsE.g.The Kerala Vidhan Sabha has on an average met for 50 days every year for the last ten years. 
    • The trend across the country is that legislatures meet for longer budget sessions at the beginning of the year.
    • Then for the rest of the year, they meet in fits and spurts and pay lip service to the constitutional requirement that there should not be a gap of six months between two sessions.
Need for increasing sittings of the state legislature
  • Legislatures are arenas for debate and giving voice to public opinion: As accountability institutions, they are responsible for asking tough questions of the government and highlighting uncomfortable truths.
  • For improving governance in the country: by continuous and close scrutiny by legislatures.
Way forward: Create a fixed calendar of sittings of legislatures so that:
  • Government can plan its calendar for bringing in new laws.
  • Increase in the time for debate and discussion.
  • Will help to get rid of the politics surrounding the convening of sessions of a legislature.

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