APPOINTMENTS OF GOVERNORS
16th February, 2023 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
Copyright infringement not intended
- 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.
- 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.
- 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