Powers and Functions of Governor : Frontier IAS
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Powers and Functions of Governor : Frontier IAS

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Powers and Functions of Governor : Frontier IAS

Every state in India has a governor to take part in the different activities of a state. That is to say, they are chosen by the central government and they are considered the entities from central to your state. Further, every state has elected chief ministers and other cabinet ministers by the people of the state. Whereas the governor of a state is appointed by the central government and the people of a state have nothing to do with it. 

ARTICLE PROVISIONS
Art.153 Governors of states
Art.154 Executive Power of the state
Art.155 Appointment of Governor
Art.156 Term of office of Governor
Art.157 Qualifications for appointment as Governor
Art.158 Conditions of Governor’s office
Art.159 Oath or affirmation by the Governor
Art.160 Discharge of the functions of the Governor in certain contingencies
Art.161 Power of Governor to grant pardon, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases
  • The Governor is the constitutional head of the State Government and acts as a link between the center and the state government. 
  • He is a representative of the Centre (i.e., President).

Appointment of Governor:

  1. The Governor of a State is appointed by the President by warrant under his seal and hand. In a way, he is a nominee of the Central government.
  2. It is an independent constitutional office and is not under the control of the Central Government.  
  3. Art. 153 says that there shall be a Governor for each state.
  4. One person can be appointed as the Governor of 1 or more states. When he discharges the responsibilities of more than 1 state, he acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the respective states.

Qualifications of Governor:

1. In order to be appointed as Governor, a person:

  • Must be a citizen of India.
  • Must have completed the age of 35 years.

2. Over years, 2 conventions have developed:

  • He must not belong to the state where he is appointed.
  • While appointing the Governor, the President is required to consult the Chief Minister of the state concerned.

Term of Office:

  • He normally holds office for 5 years but can be removed by the President at any time.
  • The Governor remains in office during the pleasure of the President, so he is a nominee of the Union Government.
  • He may be asked to continue beyond 5 years, until his successor enters his office, to prevent an interregnum.
  • The Governor may resign any time by writing to the President.
  • Under Art. 160, in an emergency for which the Constitution has made no provision, the President may make such provisions, as he thinks fit for the discharge of the functions of the Governor a State. Forex. In the death of a Governor, the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court may be appointed temporarily.

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Conditions of Governor’s Office:

  • The Governor cannot be a member of Parliament or of a State Legislature and if any such person is appointed as Governor, he is deemed to have vacated his seat in that office on the date on which he assumes office as Governor.
  • He can not hold any other office of profit.
  • He is entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residence and such emoluments, allowances, and privileges as determined by the Parliament. His emoluments and allowances shall not be diminished during his term of office.
  • When the same person is appointed as the Governor of 2 or more States, his emoluments are allocated amongst the States in a proportion determined by the President.

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Oath of Governor:

Before entering upon his office, the Governor has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation by the Chief Justice of the concerned state High Court and in his absence, the senior-most judge of that court available.

Powers and Functions of Governor:

  • Executive Powers
  • Legislative Powers
  • Financial Powers
  • Judicial Powers
  • Emergency Powers
  • Discretionary Powers

Executive Powers:

  • All executive actions of the State Government are taken in the name of the Governor.
  • He is authorized to make rules regarding the way in which orders and instructions made and executed in his name are to be authenticated.
  • He also makes rules for the convenient transaction of the business of the Government and for its allocation amongst the ministers. 
  • By 94th Amendment Act, in the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa, it is the special responsibility of the Governor to see that a Minister is placed in charge of tribal welfare. 
  • The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and on his advice the other Ministers. He also appoints the Advocate-General of State and the members of the State Public Service Commission.
  • He appoints the State Election Commission and the State Finance Commission.
  • In Assam, the Governor is given some special powers with respect to the administration of the tribal areas as provided in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • It is the duty of the Chief Minister to communicate to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the State and proposals for legislation and to provide for such information, as the Government may call for.
  • He sends a report to the President, along with his recommendations regarding the breakdown of constitutional machinery and imposition of President’s Rule in a State.
  • He also acts as the Chancellor of State Universities.
  • The Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • He can submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matters which require their reconsideration.

Powers and Functions of Governor : Frontier IAS

Legislative Powers:

  • Governor has the power to nominate 1 member to the Lower House and some members to the Upper House of the State. He can nominate 1 member from the Anglo-Indian community to the State Legislative Assembly if in his opinion the community is not adequately represented in that House. In a State with Legislative Council, the Governor nominates one-sixth of the total number of its members.
  • He can summon the State Legislature, prorogue either House or dissolve the Legislative Assembly.
  • The Governor has the right to address the House or Houses of the State Legislature separately or jointly. At the beginning of each new session and immediately after a general election to the Assembly, he has to deliver an address to the Legislature in which he lays down the policy of his Government for the coming year.
  • Every Bill passed by the State Legislature has to receive the Governor’s assent to become a law. 

He has 4 alternatives before him:

  1. He can give his assent to the Bill.
  2. He can withhold the assent.
  3. He may reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President.
  4. He can return it to the Legislature, if it is not a Money Bill, for reconsideration. But such Bills, if passed again by the Legislature, must receive the assent of the Governor. (Art. 200)
  • The Governor can also send messages to any House of the State Legislature. The House to which any such message is sent shall consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration.
  • He lays before the Legislature the annual reports of various bodies like State Public Service Commission, State Finance Commission, Comptroller, and Auditor General.
  • Under Art. 192, on the advice of the Election Commission, he may decide a matter relating to the disqualification of a member of the Legislature if that member’s election is challenged through a petition by some voter or voters of his State.

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Art. 213:

The ordinance making power of the Governor:

  • When one or both Houses of State Legislature is not in session, he can issue an Ordinance. It has the same effect as an act of the state legislature.
  •  The Governor is authorized to promulgate Ordinance when he is satisfied that circumstances exist, which makes it necessary to take immediate action.
  • He may withdraw an Ordinance any time before its expiration.

He cannot make an ordinance without the instructions from President in 3 cases:

  1. If the Bill contains provisions, which require the previous sanction of the President for introduction in the State Legislature.
  2. If he would have deemed it necessary to reserve a bill containing the same provisions for the consideration of the President.
  3. If an act of the state legislature containing the same provisions would have been invalid without receiving President’s assent.

An Ordinance issued by the Governor ceases to be in operation six weeks after the re-assembly of the Legislature unless approved earlier.

Financial Powers:

  • No Money Bill and Financial Bill can be introduced in the state legislature except on Governor’s recommendation.
  • No demand for a grant can be made in the Legislative Assembly except on his recommendation.
  • The Governor lays down in the State Legislature, the annual budget showing the estimated revenue and expenditure of the State for that year.
  • He can also make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the State in case of unforeseen expenditure, pending its authorization by the Legislature.
  • He constitutes a Finance Commission every five years to review the financial position of Local Government Bodies.

Judicial Powers:

Pardoning Powers:

  1. Under Art. 161, the Governor can grant pardons, reprieves, respites, and remissions of punishment or suspend, remit, and commute the sentences of any person convicted of an offense, against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends.
  2. The Governor cannot pardon death sentences and sentences inflicted by court-martial whereas the President can.

Judicial Appointments:

  • The President shall consult the Governor of a state while appointing a High Court Judge. 
  • He makes appointments, postings, and promotions of the district judges in consultation with the State High Courts.
  • He appoints persons to the judicial service of the state other than district judges in consultation with the State High Court and the State Public Service Commission.

Emergency Powers:

  • Under Art. 356, the Governor has the power to make a report to the President, whenever he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which Government of the State cannot be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, therefore, inviting the President to assume himself the functions of the Government of the State.
  • While President’s Rule is in force, the Governor instead of being a constitutional head of the State under the aid and advice of Council of Ministers becomes the agent of Union Government in the State.
  • During an emergency, the Executive power of the State is exercised by the Governor in accordance with the instructions received from the President. 

Discretionary Powers:

  • The Governor of a State as the administrator of the adjoining Union Territory can exercise his functions as such administrator, independent of his Council of Ministers.
  • In matters related to reservation of Bill for the consideration of the President, the Governor may act on his own. Reservation is mandatory when the bill passed by State Legislature endangers the position of the State High Court.
  • Under Art. 356, the Governor has the power to make a report to the President, whenever he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which Government of the State cannot be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, therefore, inviting the President to assume himself the functions of the Government of the State. He can make such a report at his own discretion.
  • Some situations when Governor has to act at his own discretion:
  1. Appointment of a new Chief Minister, if no single party has a clear majority or does not have an acknowledged leader.
  2. Dismissal of a Ministry when it refuses to resign even after losing majority support in the House or after being defeated on the passing of No-Confidence Motion.
  3. Dissolution of the Legislative Assembly on the advice of a Chief Minister who has lost majority support. 
  • In some cases, the Governor has to discharge responsibilities according to the directions issued by the President from time to time. In such cases, the Governor shall seek the advice of his Council of Ministers, but he is not bound by the advice tendered by them. 

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Such cases include:

  1. Maharashtra- Establishment of separate development boards for Vidarbha and Marathwada and the Rest of Maharashtra. (Art. 371)
  2. Gujarat- Establishment of separate development boards for Saurashtra and Kutch. (Art. 371)
  3. Nagaland- With respect to law and order in the State for so long as the internal disturbances in the Naga Hills Tuensang Area continue. (Art. 371A)
  4. Assam- With respect to the administration of the tribal areas. (Art. 371B)
  5. Manipur- With respect to the administration of the Hill areas in the state. (Art. 371C)
  6. Andhra Pradesh- With respect to the regional development of Andhra Pradesh. (Art. 371D)
  7. Sikkim- For peace and for ensuring social and economic advancement of the different sections of the population.(Art. 371F)
  8. Arunachal Pradesh- Regarding the law and order in the state. (Art. 371H)
  9. Goa(Art. 371-I)
  10. Mizoram(Art. 371G)
  11. Karnataka- Regarding the development of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. (Art. 371J)

Constitutional Position of Governor:

Art. 154:

The executive power of the state shall be vested in the Governor and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this constitution.

Art. 163:

There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except when he is required to exercise his functions in his discretion. 

Art. 164:

The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the State.

The Constitutional Position of the Governor differs from the President in 2 ways:

  • The Constitution envisages the possibility of the Governor acting at his own discretion at times, but there is no such possibility for the President.
  • After the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, ministerial advice has been made binding on the President, but no such provision exists for Governor.
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