Guv refused to sign health bill twice, but had to give in pressure from the state the third time

Report by: 
Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay
Kolkata
22 Mar 2017

Governor Keshrinath Tripathy was quite reluctant to sign the West Bengal Clinical Establishment (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017 and he sent it back to the government twice. It was after the vigorous persuasion of minister for education and parliamentary affairs Partha Chatterjee that the Governor finally agreed to sign the Bill.

It was after the signing of the Bill by the constitutional head of the state that the state government set up the Health Regulatory Commission, a watch dog for the state's health care system. Today the Commission met for the first time at Shasthya Bhavan. The Governor himself revealed this at a gathering at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday while illustrating the powers of the Governor of a state.
Asked about the powers of the Governor, Tripathy, himself a lawyer of repute who held the position of the Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Assembly twice, said.  ``The Governor does not have much to do in many cases....so far as passing of a bill is concerned the Governor can refuse to sign a bill twice but if the bill comes for the third time he is bound to sign it...it happened in my case recently,'' the Governor said.

The same system applies to the Centre too where the President has to abide by the decision of the Union council of ministers. Incidentally Chatterjee met the Governor twice, on March 16 and on March 18 in order to persuade the governor to sign the Bill. A delegation of a faction of Indian Medical Association (IMA) met the Governor and requested him not to sign the bill. Incidentally IMA has been divided into factions, one supporting the bill while the other section opposing it. Today in its first meeting, the Health Commission discussed modalities on how the body would function. ``We received no complaints so far,'' Anil Verma, deputy chairman of the commission, said after the meeting. He also said that complaints to the commission could also be filed online.