WB Assembly passes another bill curtailing guv’s power in land tribunal

  • | Friday | 24th June, 2022

Kolkata, Jun 24 (PTI) The West Bengal Assembly on Friday passed an amendment bill that seeks to make the state government, instead of the governor, the authority to appoint the chairman and judicial member in the Land Reforms and Tenancy Tribunal in consultation with the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court. Earlier, the Assembly has passed several other bills that, when become laws, will curtail the power enjoyed by the governor in various capacities.Introducing the West Bengal Land Reforms and Tenancy Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Minister of State for Land and Land Reforms Chandrima Bhattacharya said the amendment is required as the governor does not sign the files sent to him but asks questions repeatedly affecting the functioning of the tribunal.It has become non-functional as positions are lying vacant for long, she said. The bill which was passed by voice vote also contained the proposal that the administrative member shall also be appointed by the state government on the recommendation of a selection committee.It will be a three-member panel, the chairman of which will be a sitting high court judge nominated by the chief justice while the other two members will be selected by the state government, according to the bill.Opposition BJP members opposed the bill claiming that if the governor is replaced as the appointing authority, the functioning of the tribunal will have a direct influence of the state government.West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has shared an acrimonious relationship with the Trinamool Congress government since he assumed office in July 2019. Now, the state government brings in bills to reduce his power.Bills that seek to replace the governor with the chief minister as the chancellor of the state’s universities were passed earlier.Another bill proposing that the state government, instead of the governor, will appoint the chairman and judicial members of the taxation tribunal has also got the Assembly"s nod.Interestingly, these bills will become laws only after Dhankhar gives his assent to them. PTI dc NN NN

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