AS PER ARTICLE 174(2)(a) OF CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, IT IS THE HOUSE & NOT THE SESSION WHICH IS PROROGUED BY THE GOVERNOR —- ADVOCATE HEMANT KUMAR.

CHANDIGARH -28-NOV, A significant faux-pas/goof-up has occurred perhaps inadvertently or else otherwise in Notification and Circular issued by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat on 16 Nov 2023 pertaining to prorogation of State Assembly.

An Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Hemant Kumar, told that the other day when he checked the official website of the Punjab Assembly, he came across a Notification as uploaded therein as issued by the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat on 16 Nov 2023 which notifies the Order of Banwari Lal Purohit, Governor of Punjab dated 15 Nov 2023 mentioning that the he (Governor) has prorogued the Sixteenth Punjab Legislative Assembly,which was summoned for its Fourth (Budget) Session, 2023 and adjourned Sine-Die at the conclusion of its sitting held on 20 Oct 2023.

However, when he perused the Circular also issued by the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat on 16 Nov 2023 itself as circulated to all MLAs of current Punjab Vidhan Sabha, it rather mentions that the Governor of Punjab by an Order dated 15 Nov 2023 has been pleased to prorogue the Fourth Budget Session of the Sixteenth Punjab Vidhan Sabha which was adjourned sine-die at the conclusion of its sitting held on 20 Oct 2023.

Hemant expressed utter surprise at the fact over how such a grave discrepancy has again occurred pertaining to prorogation of State Assembly. It was only last year that this Advocate wrote to the Punjab Governor, Speaker of Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Parliamentary Affairs Department of State Government etc. clearly explaining the fact that legally (read constitutionally) it is the Assembly(House) which is prorogued by the State Governor and not the concluded Assembly Session.
(read under Article 174(2)(a) of the Constitution).

Hemant told that earlier this year on 3 Feb 2023, i.e. straight four months after the third Session of the current 16th Punjab Legislative Assembly was adjourned Sine Die by the Speaker on 3 Oct 2022, an Order was issued signed by the Governor of Punjab Banwarilal Purohit proroguing the Punjab Legislative Assembly by exercising the powers conferred upon him by virtue of Sub-Clause (a) of Clause (2) of Article 174 of Constitution of India.

Actually it was after years that it was correctly mentioned that the Punjab Legislative Assembly has been prorogued in terms of Article 174(2)(a) of Constitution of India. Earlier or in other words till July, 2022 such Order(s) as issued by the Governor use to mention that the concerned concluded Session of Punjab Legislative Assembly has been prorogued by the Governor and not the Assembly.

The Advocate said that prorogation means formal discontinuance of sittings of the House by the State Governor by issuing an Order under Article 174 (2)(a) of Constitution of India that is different from adjourning the House sine-dine, which however is ordered by the Speaker at the conclusion of all the Sittings of the House.

Although the House is summoned and prorogued by the Governor under Article 174(1) and Article 174(2)(a) of Constitution of India respectively, in reality such summoning and prorogation is actually decided by the ruling executive ( read the leader of the House i.e. the Chief Minister post approval by Cabinet/Council of Ministers) and thereafter a recommendation is made to the State Governor for issuing the formal Order.

Hemant further said that even when both Houses of Parliament viz. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are adjourned sine-dine by the Speaker and Chairperson of the House respectively, thereafter the President of India in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under Article 85(2)(a) of Constitution of India prorogues the both Houses viz. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and not the Session(s) of both Houses. Similar is the situation in all other States in the country including the neighbouring State of Haryana.

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