Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has categorically stated that he would not give his nod to all appointments if they do not meet the aforementioned conditions. Owing to this decision of his, several appointments in the State are either on hold or have not taken place at all. Governor’s stand has been accepted by the judiciary as he has categorically mentioned that he would go by the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Now, several bills are pending with him due to these reasons. Recently, the Governor had opined that he would reply to Kerala Government’s petitions against him before the Supreme Court regarding keeping the bills pending sans signing whenever he was asked for. The appointments of Vice Chancellors involve expenses; hence they come under “Money Bills”.
#WATCH | Kochi: On Kerala govt's petition in Supreme Court against him, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan says, " There is absolutely no tussle (between Kerala govt and Governor), I will go by the spirit of the constitution…University bills are money bills and money bills… pic.twitter.com/u5zmWvpCSy
— ANI (@ANI) November 10, 2023
The Governor made it clear that Money Bills need the prior permission of the Governor before they are presented in the Assembly. Apparently, such bills have been passed without the governor’s consent. So far, the Chief Minister has not clarified the matter to him. He had once mentioned, in the past, that the ministers who meet him are not always able to give necessary clarifications. Therefore, the governor has to wait before signing them.
Moreover, Governor has never minced words when he thought it necessary to criticise the extravagant spending spree of the Pinarayi government. He cannot sit back and be a mere spectator when the government spends money for luxuries like ‘Keralaleeym 23” which costs Rs 27 crore, when it (government) fails to give salaries to the employees and pension to the retired staff of Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Interestingly, the governor said that the source of his knowledge about the fete is the media !
And the government has even stated before HC that they are not liable to pay back the investments made by the people in Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation Limited (KTDFC). KTDFC is a non banking financial company fully owned by the Government of Kerala. It has a valid certificate of registration issued by the Reserve Bank of India under section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934. According to reports, KTDFC owes Rs 490 cr to the depositors.
Still, the government spends for appointments, facilities for the ministers, helicopter hire for CM, etc. etc. This journal, on previous occasions, has highlighted the methodologies of the extravagant, luxurious Pinarayi Government’s spending despite presiding over a sinking economy. Therefore, no one can blame the governor for his stringent stand.