Thiruvananthapuram: Several ordinances, including the Kerala Lokayukta (Amendment) Ordinance, issued by the LDF government expired on Monday following Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan's refusal to sign them.
The Kerala Lokayukta (Amendment) Ordinance provides that the Governor, Chief Minister or the state government would be the competent authority and he or it may either accept or reject the declaration by the Lokayukta, after giving an opportunity of being heard. The Congress-led UDF opposition is against the ordinance and had back in February urged the Governor not to sign it.
The amendment ordinance was approved and notified by the Government on February 7, even as the Lokayukta was considering pleas against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, a few other Ministers and former Ministers.
The other ordinances which expired are listed below, with the number of times it has been renewed already mentioned in brackets: Kerala Maritime Board amendment (2), Local self-governance public service (1), Kerala Public Services Commission amendment (3), Kerala Private Forests vesting and assignment (7), Industrial single window board and industrial township development (2), Kerala board for appointments in public sector undertakings (1), Kerala Public Health ordinance (5), Kerala jewellery workers welfare fund (6), Kerala Cooperative societies amendment (2) and Live stock, poultry feed and Mineral mixture (5).
The Governor had said he was not going to approve their repromulgation without going through the ordinances. He added that ruling through such means "is not desirable in a democracy".
He said that 13-14 ordinances were sent to him on the day he was leaving the state for Delhi to attend a meeting of the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' committee and did not have the time to go through all of them.
"I need time to go through them. I have to apply my mind. Do you want me to sign them without applying my mind? We must uphold the spirit of democracy and ruling through ordinances is not something which is desirable in a democracy," the Governor said while speaking to reporters in the national capital.
On whether his decision not to sign the ordinances till date was due to any displeasure with the state government's alleged proposal to bring an ordinance to dilute his powers as Chancellor, the Governor said there was nothing like that.
He said he was unaware of any proposed ordinance aimed at diluting his powers as the Chancellor and therefore, he cannot comment on the same.
Khan also clarified that there was no fight between him and the state government.
He said that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has assured that there will be no state government interference in the powers of the Chancellor with regard to the functioning of universities.
The Governor further said that he will reach Kerala on August 10.