Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan Thursday hit out at the state government for moving the Supreme Court against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act without seeking his approval.
Khan has called it a “breach of protocol and courtesy” and expressed displeasure that he got to know of the decision “through newspapers”.
“I have no issue with them going to the Supreme Court but they should have informed me first. I being constitutional head come to know about it through newspapers. Clearly, I am not just a rubber stamp,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Two weeks after the state Assembly passed a resolution demanding that the new citizenship law be scrapped, Kerala became the first state to move the Supreme Court Tuesday, urging it to declare the law enacted by Parliament violative of the Constitution, its basic structure rule and secular principles.
“This is a breach of protocol and breach of courtesy. I will look into it whether the state govt can go to the Supreme Court without the approval of the Governor. If not the approval, they could have just informed me,” Khan said.
The Governor has reiterated his stand in favour of the new citizenship law multiple times. Last month, he was welcomed with protests from some students and delegates at the inauguration of the Indian History Congress in Kannur.
Delegates including the History Congress’ acting president Irfan Habib opposed Khan. The governor had later tweeted, “Irfan Habib tried on stage to disrupt inaugural address questioning Governor’s right to quote Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, shouting that he should quote Godse. He pushed Governor’s ADC and Security Officer, who prevented his unseemly gesture.’’
The state government, along with West Bengal, has also put on hold the exercise of National Population Register (NPR). The Kerala government has moved the apex court under Article 131 of the Constitution, the provision under which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to deal with any dispute between the Centre and a state; the Centre and a state on the one side and another state on the other side; and two or more states.