Chapter 29: GOVERNOR OF STATES

Introduction

The state executive has Governor [head], chief minister and the council of ministers and advocate general. Governor is also an agent of the centre. One governor can be appointed for two or more states.

Governor is appointed by the president and occupies office during his pleasure. Term is 5 years.

President can transfer a governor. Or reappoint a governor after his term is over in same state or different state.

President can make alternative arrangement for functions of governor in case of contingency e.g.: appoint Chief Justice of H.C to function as a temporary governor. No such provision is made in the constitution for emergency situations.

 

Qualifications:

1.   35 or above years of age

2.   citizen of India

3.   He can’t be a Member of Parliament or state legislatures. The day he is appointed in as governor he is deemed to have vacated his seat in legislatures.

He is immune from legal liability regarding official acts. He has immunity from criminal proceeding even for personal acts. Civil proceedings regarding personal acts can be started against him after two months notice.

Constitution allows governor discretion in his official functions. Also the advice of the chief minister and the council of ministers isn’t binding on the governor. Whenever there is a doubt on if the activity is at his discretion or not the decision is made by the governor and is final. Also whether he has or hasn’t discretion on a matter can’t be challenged in courts.


Discretionary powers:

1.   Reservation of bill for president’s consideration.

2.   recommendation to impose presidents rule in state

3.   while exercising additional duty as administrator of UT he needn't take advice of the cabinet.

4.   Seeking information of administrative and legislative matters from state

 

Powers of Governor:

Executive powers: All executive actions of state are taken in his name. Powers of the governor by convention have to be exercised with the advice of the CM + council of ministers. But constitution doesn't put any compulsions.

He can make rules specifying which orders and instruments made and executed in his name shall be authenticated.

He can makes rules for more convenient transaction of business of State government and allocation of said business among ministers.

He appoints CM and council of ministers and the attorney general; they occupy office during his pleasure. There should be a tribal welfare ministry in Jharkhand, odissa, MP, Chhattisgarh.

He appoints State EC, Chairman and members of State PSC + finance commission every five years to review position of panchayats.

He is chancellor of all universities in state and appoints vice chancellors.

 

Legislative powers:

Dissolving Vidhan Sabha. Summoning and proroguing house of state legislature and dissolve legislative assembly.

He can send messages to the Houses of State Legislature regarding bills or otherwise. He addresses state legislatures at the beginning of first session after elections and at start of each year.

He can nominate one sixth members to state legislative council from fields of art, science, cooperative movement, literature and social service.

He can nominate one member of Anglo Indian community to legislative assembly if he feels community isn’t adequately represented.

He decides questions of disqualification of members after advice of EC which is binding.

When the office of presiding officer and deputy presiding officers becomes empty he appoints a member for temporarily presiding over the house.

Money bills and demand for grants can be introduced only after his assent. He can make advances out of contingency fund of state.

He can make ordinances when state legislature not in session or only one house in session in case of bicameral legislatures. He can withdraw ordinances anytime.

A bill can become an act only if it has received governor’s assent. When a bill is given to the governor he can:

  1. Give his assent
  2. Withhold his assent / Absolute veto  [only for ordinary bills / money bills]
  3. Return the bill for reconsideration / Suspensive veto. However if the bill is again passed by parliament then he has to give his assent to it. [ only for ordinary bills ]
  4. Reserve bill for assent of president. If the bill endangers position of high court than it has to be reserved. Optionally governor may reserve bill in following cases too:

Ø  against provision of constitution

Ø  opposed to directive principles of state policy

Ø  against larger interest of country

Ø  of grave national importance

Ø  deals with compulsory acquisition of property

A bill whether ordinary or money bill when reserved for presidents assent needs no role of governor in future. Hence if the bill is returned by president and if the state legislatures pass it again it goes to the president directly.

Judicial powers:

1.      Appoints, promotes, and makes postings of district judges in consultation with state high court.

2.      Appoints people to state judicial service after consulting state high court and state PSC.

3.      He can grant pardon [remove sentence and conviction], remit [reduce sentence but not its character], reprieve [stay on execution for a temporary period], commute [substitute sentence with a lighter form] or respite [award lesser sentence due to special factors of convict] sentence of a convict sentenced under state law.

Quiz

Score more than 80% marks and move ahead else stay back and read again!