Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin meets Governor R.N. Ravi, impresses upon him the need to forward anti-NEET Bill to the President immediately

Published : November 27, 2021 14:09 IST

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister with the Governor R.N. Ravi (right) in Chennai on November 27. Photo: Department of Information and Public Relations, Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, called on Governor R.N. Ravi today and requested him to forward to the President the Tamil Nadu government’s Bill relating to the exemption on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, called on Governor R.N. Ravi today and requested him to forward to the President the Tamil Nadu government’s Bill relating to the exemption on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The Chief Minister’s unprecedented move came after the Governor remained unmoved even after the State Legislative Assembly Speaker M. Appavu’s reference to Governors sitting on Bills sent by the Assembly, in a speech he made on November 17.

Getting exemption from NEET  for Tamil Nadu was one of the election promises of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. After it came to power, the government appointed a committee to examine the extent to which NEET had pushed the poor and socially backward classes out of medical education. Once the report of the committee was submitted, the government enacted a Bill on September 13 seeking exemption from NEET for students from the State.

Speaking on ‘Responsibility of presiding officers towards Constitution, House and the People,’ at the 82nd meeting of presiding officers in Shimla, Appavu said: "When a Bill is passed by majority and sent for the assent of the Governor, the Governors sometimes sit over the Bill without giving his assent or returning the Bill for an indefinite period, even though the Constitution requires it to be done as soon as possible."

He added: "Another problem we see is that where a Bill requires to be reserved for the consideration of the Hon’ble President, the Governors are taking months together to reserve the Bills for the assent of the Hon’ble President, even though they are bound to do so immediately. This erodes the authority of the Legislatures. The Governors, though heads the State Executive, are appointed by the Union Government. Therefore, when they stall the assent to a Bill, they are virtually overruling the will of the People of the State. We have to work together to set a binding time frame within which Bills have to be assented to, returned or reserved for the consideration of the Hon’ble President of India by the Hon’ble Governors."

Tamil Nadu passed a Bill seeking exemption from NEET in September 2021, and sent it to the Governor so that the Bill could be forwarded to the President for his approval. A government release said that the Chief Minister met the Governor in person and impressed upon him the need to send the Bill to the President immediately for his approval.

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