Kerala Governor to seek report from State government for moving SC against Citizenship Act

New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 17, 2020, 06:59 PM(IST)

File photo: Demonstrators carry flags and placards as they attend a protest rally against a new citizenship law Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Governor further said, 'The government cannot issue any order without the approval of the Governor'.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Friday hit out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for violating constitutional norms after the State government approached the Supreme Court against the new citizenship law and said he will seek a report in connection to the matter.

The Governor also said that his duty is to ensure that the constitutional machinery does not collapse in the state.

"The role of the Governor is clearly spelt out in the oath which is prescribed by the Constitution. I shall preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and law and shall devote myself to service and welfare of the people of Kerala," Khan told reporters.

He read out the clause of Rule of Business and said he was informed about the state government's decision to move the Supreme Court challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Also read: Kerala Governor fumes after state government moves Supreme Court over CAA

"My role is to see the business of the government is transacted in accordance with the Constitution. I am there to ensure that the Constitution is respected and followed in letter and spirit," Khan said, adding he was not claiming supremacy and that no one is above the law.

"I was not even informed that the government is going to challenge a Central law which is none of the concern of the State government. The CAA is a subject of the Central list as specified in the Constitution," he said.

The Governor further said, "The government cannot issue any order without the approval of the Governor. If the government wants to issue an order to go to the Supreme Court, they should first seek approval from the Governor. The Rule of Business is clear. My duty is to ensure that the constitutional machinery is not collapsed."

Khan later told ANI that there are no differences between him and the Kerala government.

"There are no differences between us. It is my responsibility to ensure that things do not reach a stage where there is a collapse of the constitutional machinery," he said.

The Vijayan-led government has moved the top court against the new citizenship law alleging it violates the basic principle of secularism.

The Kerala Assembly had also passed a resolution seeking withdrawal of the CAA that grants Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

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