Prime Minister’s Office : Important Updates

Constitutional Punctuality: Need of The Hour


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Governors powers over assent to the bills and related provisions

Mains level: resolution by the state to the president, issues and need of time bound constitutional delivery


Central Idea

  • The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly recently passed a resolution that urges a time frame for Governors to act on Bills passed by the State Legislature. The resolution was passed because the Governor of Tamil Nadu, R.N. Ravi, had withheld assent to as many as 13 Bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. This highlights the need for a time-bound constitutional delivery mechanism for Governors, Speakers of Assemblies, and the President of India, emphasizing the importance of time-bound governance.

What the resolution is all about?

  • The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly passed a resolution urging the Union Government and President to advise the Governor to decide on the bills passed by the State Legislatures within a reasonable time period.
  • The resolution, proposed by the Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin, argued that it was important to protect the sovereignty of the Legislatures and, ultimately, safeguard parliamentary democracy.
  • The resolution seeks to provide a time frame for Governors to act on Bills passed by the State Legislature and ensure that they do not sit over Bills indefinitely. The resolution also encourages other Opposition-ruled states to pass similar resolutions in their Assemblies.

What is mean by Constitutional Punctuality?

  • Timely discharge of duties in accordance with the constitutional provisions: Constitutional punctuality refers to the timely discharge of duties and responsibilities by various constitutional high offices in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Constitution. It involves adhering to a strict time frame to avoid unnecessary delays and ensure the smooth functioning of the constitutional scheme.
  • Growing concerns over misuse of discretionary powers: This concept has gained importance in recent times due to the growing concern over the misuse of discretionary powers by constitutional authorities such as governors, which can lead to a delay in the enactment of important legislation and undermine the principles of parliamentary democracy.

Need for Constitutional punctuality in terms of Governors role

  • Upholding the sovereignty of legislatures: When the Governor of a state withholds assent to bills passed by the state legislature indefinitely, it undermines the sovereignty of the legislatures. It is essential to provide a time frame for the Governor to act on bills to safeguard the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Ensuring timely delivery of justice: The Constitution of India guarantees the right to speedy justice to all citizens. The delay in the Governor’s assent to bills passed by the legislature leads to a delay in the implementation of new laws, which could impact the timely delivery of justice.
  • Preventing misuse of power: Governors hold a significant position of power, and the discretion they exercise in giving assent to bills should not be misused. The absence of a time frame for them to act on bills provides them with an opportunity to misuse their powers, which could harm the interests of the people.
  • Advancing the constitutional scheme: Providing a time-bound constitutional delivery mechanism advances the constitutional scheme. It ensures the smooth functioning of the democratic process and upholds the principles of accountability and transparency.
  • Building public trust: When constitutional high offices, including that of the Governor, President, and Speakers of Assemblies, discharge their duties in a time-bound manner, it builds public trust in the democratic institutions of the country. It ensures that people’s will, as expressed through their elected representatives, is implemented without undue delay.

Facts for prelims

Ambit of judicial review on matters of delays by constitutional authorities

  • In India, matters involving delays in exercising powers by constitutional authorities have been brought under the ambit of judicial review by the courts.
  • In the case of Keisham Meghachandra Singh vs The Hon’ble Speaker Manipur (2020), the Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus to the Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to decide on disqualification petitions within four weeks.

Time bound governance

  • The concept of time-bound governance has been successfully implemented in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, where there are strict timelines for the assent or veto of bills by the respective authorities.
  • In the US, if the President does not sign or veto a bill within 10 days, it automatically becomes an Act.
  • In the UK, there has been no royal veto since 1708.


  • The resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly is a step in the right direction towards a time-bound constitutional delivery mechanism. Constitutional high offices, including Governors, Speakers of Assemblies, and the President of India, must evolve strict time frames and avoid unnecessary delays. Such an approach would advance the constitutional scheme and safeguard

Mains Question

Q. What do you understand by mean constitutional punctuality? Discuss the need of constitutional punctuality specifically in terms of Governors role in the state?

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your personal mentor for UPSC 2024 | Schedule your FREE session and get the Prelims prep Toolkit!

Also Read:

Governor’s Constitutional Limits: A Resolution to President


Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch