In a move that will shield the central government from reversing its stand on Gujarat’s new anti-terror law, Gujarat governor OP Kohli is expected to give his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill 2015 (GUJCTOC) which was passed by the assembly on Monday.
Government sources told HT that the home ministry would not have to justify the presidential approval to the bill that had been, in the past, rejected by two Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
“Our understanding is that the Governor will assent to the bill at his level,” a government source said. Veteran Delhi BJP leader Prof OP Kohli was appointed as the Gujarat Governor within weeks of the Modi government coming to power at the centre.
A state legislation comes to the centre for approval only if the Governor feels that the bill passed by the assembly is in violation of central laws or policy. Under Article 200 of the Constitution, the Governor has the powers to assent to the bill, withhold assent or refer the bill to the President.
The ventre had succeeded in stalling previous attempts by the Gujarat government under Narendra Modi to enact the anti-terror law since the UPA government-appointed Governor would refer legislations to the ventre at the slightest provocation.
A government official hinted that the centre would not have too much trouble reversing its stand in any case and had already done so in case of the Maharashtra ban on cow slaughter and Gujarat’s Lokayukta amendment bill. Incidentally, the Gujarat government has not notified the Lokayukta amendment bill that sought to strip the Governor of powers to appoint the Lokayukta so far despite presidential approval.