ORDERS OF PROROGATED ASSEMBLY SESSIONS ERRONEOUSLY SIGNED FROM GOVERNOR
HOWEVER, AS PER THE CONSTITUTION, IT IS HOUSE & NOT THE SESSION WHICH SHOULD BE PROROGUED
Recently on July 14, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat issued a Notification which mentions an Order as signed by Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Punjab dated July 13, 2022, which states that in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by virtue of sub-clause (a) of clause (2) of Article 174 of Constitution of India, he hereby prorogues the second (budget) session of 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha which was adjourned sine-die at the conclusion of its sitting held on 30th June 2022.
Although the above Notification is yet to be published in Punjab Government Gazette but it has been uploaded and currently available on the official website of Punjab Assembly.
Three months back on 16th April 2022, the Punjab Governor signed a similar sort of Order i.e. under Article 174(2)(a) of Constitution of India wherein he prorogued the first session of 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha which was adjourned sine-die at the conclusion of its sitting held on 1st April 2022. The aforesaid signed Order was published in Punjab Government Gazette two days later on 18 April 2022 by Vidhan Sabha Secretariat.
Meanwhile, an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Hemant Kumar, has written to the Governor of Punjab, Speaker of Punjab Assembly, Chief Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Chief Secretary etc. raising objection over the aforementioned Notifications issued by Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat which mentions Order(s) as signed by the State Governor pertaining to prorogation since in such duly notified/published Order(s) it is being erroneously mentioned that the Governor hereby prorogues the respective Session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha because actually (read constitutionally) it is not the Session but rather the House which is to be prorogued by the Governor under Article 174 (2)(a) of Constitution of India.
The Advocate explained that prorogation means formal discontinuance of sittings of the House by the State Governor by issuing an Order under Article 174 (2)(a) of Constitution of India that is different from adjourning the House sine-dine, which however is ordered by the Speaker at the conclusion of all the Sittings of the House.
Although the House is summoned and prorogued by the Governor under Article 174(1) and Article 174(2)(a) of Constitution of India respectively, in reality such summoning and prorogation is actually decided by the ruling executive ( read the leader of the House i.e. the Chief Minister) and recommended to the Governor from time to time, hence if such an error is occurring in the Orders pertaining to prorogation of Punjab Assembly as mentioned hereinbefore, it is not the Governor but rather the concerned senior officers of the State Government including of Parliamentary Affairs Department who should be held responsible for the faux pas/gaffe.
Even when both Houses of Parliament viz. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are adjourned sine-dine by the Speaker and Chairperson of the House respectively, thereafter the President of India in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under Article 85(2)(a) of Constitution of India prorogues the both Houses viz. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and not the Session(s) of both Houses. Similar is the situation in all other States in the country including the neighbouring State of Haryana.