New Delhi: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has said that the Constitution gives him many options and he will take a decision at an appropriate time on Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front government moving the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“As far as I am concerned, the rules of duties are clear. It is already established how the Chief Minister is supposed to approach me. The Chief Minister is duty-bound to approach me before he passes any such order. My role is to see that the state works according to the rules. I am not claiming supremacy,” he told The Sunday Guardian.
Khan said it was his duty to ensure that the rule, law and Constitution were followed in letter and spirit in the state. “Also, it is my responsibility to ensure that the Constitutional machinery does not collapse,” he said.
“Be you ever so high, the law is above you. You have to respect the law. Once the President has given assent to a law, as Governor, I have the right to protect it. I am moving in a Constitutional way. I am not a rubber stamp,” said the Kerala Governor.
The plea filed by the Kerala government under Article 131 of the Constitution on disputes between Centre and states, stated that the CAA violates the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, right to life under Article 21 and freedom to practice religion under Article 25. The Kerala Assembly also passed a resolution earlier demanding scrapping of the CAA, claiming that the Act, which was passed after following due process by Parliament, was unconstitutional.
Saying that “dissent is the essence of democracy”, Khan cited the Constitution to accuse the Pinarayi Vijayan government of violating the law on key issues like passing a resolution or challenging the CAA in the Supreme Court, without keeping him in the loop.
“I have no problem with the government, Opposition, or anybody holding a different view on CAA, NRC (National Register of Citizens) or NPR (National Population Register). Everyone is free. But my only point is the rules should be followed as stipulated by the Constitution,” he said.