Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala cabinet on Wednesday decided to convene a session of the state assembly later this month. The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided to recommend to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan to convene the Assembly from August 22, stated a CMO release.
The Assembly will be in session for 10 days, official sources said. Though the government did not cite any particular reason for convening the session, apparently, it is meant to enact legislations on several ordinances which stand lapsed for want of the Governor's approval by August 8.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed Governor Arif Mohammed Khan's refusal to sign the ordinances as 'unusual'.
Law Minister P Rajeeve said the government will not go ahead with the ordinances anymore. He said the decision to advance the October session of the Assembly was made earlier and not to pacify Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
"This government's policy is to make laws if need be and avoid as many ordinances as possible," said Rajeeve.
It is up to the governor to decide what to do with the ordinances sent, he added.
Meanwhile, the Governor said he will examine if there was any emergency for re-promulgating the ordinances which stand lapsed for want of his approval by August 8.
"If without placing it in the House, if an ordinance comes to me for a second time, I will have to apply my mind. I will have to see whether any emergency exists. I have to apply my mind and exercise my fair judgement and then only I can sign," he said while speaking to reporters in Delhi.
Governor had explained that 13-14 draft ordinances were sent to him on the day he was leaving the state last week 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.
The Governor refuted reports that his refusal to sign the ordinances till date was due to displeasure with the state government's alleged proposal to bring an ordinance to dilute his powers as Chancellor of the Universities.
"When exercising my functions, I shall not be guided by anybody. I shall be guided only by my own judgement and conscience," he said.
He further said that he was being asked to sign and re-promulgate ordinances when an assembly session was held after he last signed them.
Khan, who is expected to arrive in Kerala later in the day, said the power to issue ordinances is to be used only when assembly is not in session, "it is not an absolute power".
"Once I sign an ordinance, it has to be tabled before the House. Now after signing the ordinance, six months later I am being asked to re-promulgate it. In between, the session of assembly has already been held. Immediacy means there is no session being held," he explained.
On Tuesday, the ruling LDF in Kerala said it was not going to adopt a confrontational or adversarial approach in connection with several of the state government's ordinances getting lapsed, at the end of the day on August 8, as the governor had not signed them owing to paucity of time to peruse them.
Among the ordinances that expired on August 8, the Kerala Lokayukta (Amendment) Ordinance was one which says 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 was against the ordinance and had in February urged the Governor not to sign it.
(With PTI inputs.)