IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


16th February, 2023 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

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In News

  • The President of India has appointed new Governors in 12 states and the Union Territory of Ladakh. This includes both first-time appointments as well as transfers of Governors from one state to the other.
  • New appointments;
    • Lt Gen KT Parnaik as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Lakshman Prasad Acharya as Governor of Sikkim.
    • C P Radhakrishnan as Governor of Jharkhand.
    • Shiv Pratap Shukla as Governor of Himachal Pradesh.
    • Gulab Chand Kataria as Governor of Assam.
    • Justice (Retd.) S Abdul Nazeer as Governor of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Transfers of Governors;
    • Biswa Bhusan Harichandan (Governor of Andhra Pradesh) has been appointed Governor of Chhattisgarh.
    • Anusuiya Uikye (Governor of Chhattisgarh) has been appointed as Governor of Manipur.
    • Ganesan (Governor of Manipur) has been appointed as Governor of Nagaland.
    • Phagu Chauhan (Governor of Bihar) has been appointed as Governor of Meghalaya.
    • Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar (Governor of Himachal Pradesh) has been appointed as Governor of Bihar.
    • Ramesh Bais (Governor of Jharkhand) has been appointed as Governor of Maharashtra.
    • B D Mishra (Governor of Arunachal Pradesh) appointed as Lt Governor of Ladakh.


  • Part VI of the Indian constitution deals with the state executive under Articles 153 to 167.
    • The Governor, the chief minister, the council of ministers, and the state's attorney general comprise the state executive.
  • Article 153 of the Indian constitution requires that there shall be a Governor for each State.
    • Normally, each state has its governor, but the 7th constitutional Amendment Act of 1956 made it easier to appoint the same individual to serve as governor of two or more states.
  • Article 154 vests the executive power of the State in the Governor.
  • Article 155 says that the Governor of a State shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Article 156 provides that ―The Governor shall hold office at the pleasure of the President.
  • Article 157 lay down two qualifications for the office of the Governor:
    • He should be a citizen of India.
    • Must have completed the age of 35 years.
  • The term of the Governor is prescribed as 5 years.
    • He can quit at any time by writing the President a letter of resignation.
  • Article 158; Conditions of the Governor’s office as the following:
    • Shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or State Legislature, and if such a member is appointed Governor, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as Governor.
    • Shall not hold any other office of profit.
  • The Governor has to take oath/affirmation before entering upon his office, in the presence of the Chief Justice of the High Court exercising jurisdiction to the State, or, in his absence, the senior-most Judge of that Court available to faithfully discharge the functions.

Executive Powers of Governors

  • The Governor is the chief executive of the state; all executive actions must be conducted in his or her name.
  • The executive power of the state is vested in the Governor.
  • He exercises it either directly or through officers subordinate to him.
  • It has been held that ministers are officers subordinate to them.
  • The executive power of the state extends to all matters concerning which the State Legislature has the power to make laws.
  • All executive is expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor.
  • All orders, instruments, etc are authenticated in the manner specified in the rules made by the Governor.
  • Appoints the Chief Minister and other ministers are appointed by him on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  • Appoints the Council of Ministers, Advocate General, Chairman and the members of the State Public Service Commission.
  • He has the power to nominate 1/6th of the members of the Legislative Council of State.
  • The persons to be nominated are required to have special knowledge and practical experience in respect of Literature, Science and Arts etc.
Legislative Powers of Governors
  • The Governor is a part of the state legislature (Art. 168). He undertakes the following legislative tasks in this capacity:
    • The legislative Assembly is summoned, prorogued, and then dissolved.
    • Right to speak to and send messages to the legislature.
  • No Bill can become law unless it receives the Governor's approval.
  • He has the option of giving his consent, withholding his assent, or exercising his pocket veto over a state bill.
  • He lays the reports of the State Finance Commission, the State Public Service Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General relating to the accounts of the state, before the state legislature.
  • He has the power to decide on the question of disqualification of members of the state legislature in consultation with the Election Commission.
  • Without his recommendation, no demand for a grant can be made by the legislature.
  • May reserve Bills for the assent of the President made by the Legislature.


Financial Power of Governors

  • The annual financial statement is put before the legislature (Art-202).
  • Without the Governor's permission, a money bill cannot be introduced in the State Legislative Assembly.
  • In the name of the Governor, the annual and supplemental budgets are introduced in the Assembly.
  • No grant request can be made unless he recommends it.
  • The State Contingency Fund is under the jurisdiction of the Governor, and it cannot be used without his approval.

Judicial Power

  • When the president appoints judges to the State High Court, he consults him.
  • According to Article 161, the Governor has the authority to suspend, remit, or commute the sentence of anyone guilty of violating the law that the state's executive power extends.
    • Pardon: the accused is fully free of any consequences.
    • Reprieves are temporary halts in the execution of the punishment.
    • Respite is a reduction of the severity of a penalty for a specific reason.
    • Remission: a reduction in the length of a sentence without changing its nature.
    • Commutation is the process of substituting one form of punishment for a less severe one.


  • Misuse of discretionary powers: States allege that the Governor acts on behalf of the Union government for political gains.
  • Appointment by Centre: The post has become a retirement package for politicians.
  • Arbitrary removal before the expiration of their tenure: Even after the Supreme Court Judgement in B.P. Singhal v/s Union of India, a fixed tenure for Governors to encourage neutrality and fairness in the discharge of their duties, is not being implemented on the ground.

Way Forward

  • Punchhi Commission elaborated that the governor should follow “Constitutional Conventions” in a case of a hung Assembly.
  • Bommai Case mentioned that the discretion of the Governor does not apply to hung assembly but it emphasized floor tests in the house within 48 hours.
  • Sarkaria Commission recommended that;
    • The governor must be an important figure.
    • He must be a distant person who has no strong political ties or has not recently participated in politics.
    • He must not be a member of the ruling party.
    • If possible, the governor's term should be five years.
    • He should only be dismissed before his term for reasons stated in the constitution, or for reasons such as his morality, dignity, or constitutional order.
  • The constitution does not allow the governor to run a parallel government and does not hold him personally responsible for his actions as governor.
  • The governor must be a high constitutional authority, function within the terms of the constitution, and be a friend, philosopher, and leader of his government