Governor of a state – Powers, Tenure, Qualifications and appointment

Governor of a state- Powers, Tenure, Qualifications and appointment

Who is a governor?

Article 153 of the constitution states that there shall be a governor for each state. Governor is the nominal executive of the state similar to the president and he is the chief executive of the state who is nominated by the central government.

Article 154 deals with the executive power of the governor and he can exercise his power either directly or indirectly through the officers subordinate to him.

Appointment of the governor:

According to the Article 155 of the Indian constitution  the governor is appointed by the central government with the warrant and seal under his hand for each state. The office of the governor is independent constitutional office and his office is not a part of the union executive.

Term of office of governor:

Article 156 of the Indian constitution deals with the term of office of governor. Accordingly, the governor can hold the office during the pleasure of the president and there is no fixed term . He can resign his post at any time by writing under his hand addressed to the president. He can hold the office for term of 5 years from the date on which he enters upon his office and he can hold his office beyond 5 years until his successor holds the office.

He can be removed by the president on the grounds for removal are not laid down in the constitution and an interregnum is not allowed. He can be reappointed,, transferred from one state to another state by the president. On president’s discretion Chief Justice of  High Court of the concerned state can be appointed as governor on a temporary  basis when and how president thinks it fit.

Qualification to become a governor:

Article 157 deals with the qualifications to become a person. Unlike president, the governor has to meet only two qualifications to hold his office. That is

1.He should be an Indian citizen.

2.He should be thirty five(35) years old or more.

But, before appointing a person as a governor there are two conventions that the government follows before nominating.

That is, the person is not appointed as the governor who belongs t the state. He shall be an outside having no relation with the state he is being appointed to.

The consultation of the chief minister is taken by the president before appointing a governor. However these conventions can be ignored by the central government at any time and it is not absolute.

Conditions of the office:

Article 158 deals with the conditions of the office of the governor as stated in the Indian constitution. Accordingly, he should not be a member of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha and if he was the member of either house, he should vacate the seat on his first day as governor in the office. He should not hold any office for profit.

Raj bhavan is provided for him for his residence without any payment of rent and his allowances, emoluments and privileges are being decided by the government. His emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished by the parliament during his term of office.

He cannot be arrested or imprisoned for his act because he is given immunity from criminal proceedings even in respect of his personal acts. Only civil proceedings can be taken against him that too after giving two months prior notice.

Powers of the governor:

Executive powers of the governor:

His executive powers are vested with the appointment of state election commissioner, chairman and members of the state public service commission and vice-chancellors of the universities of the state. All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the governor and he sets up the rules for the implementation of the same . the chief ministers and other ministers of the state are appointed by him and also he appoints the advocate general of the states and their remuneration are being determined by the governor.

He enjoys the extensive executive power during presidents rule in the state as he is the agent of the president and he seeks the information from the state government. If there is any constitutional emergency in the state the governor will recommend this to the president.

Legislative powers of the governor:

Under article 213 the governor has the power to make ordinances during the recess of legislature. This ordinance promulgated by him as the same effect and force as that of an act passed by the state legislature.

He has the power to postpone the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assemblies and at first session of every year he addresses the state legislature. If the speaker is absent in the legislative assembly he can appoint a person to preside over the session.

The governor appoints 1/6 of the total members of the legislative from the fields of the literature, science, arts, co-operative movement and social service. He nominates 1 Anglo-Indian community in the state legislative assembly.

When the bill is passed by the state legislative assembly he can give assent to the bill or he can withhold his assent or he can reserve the bill for the consideration of the president.

Financial powers of the governor:

For the introduction money bill his recommendation is pre-requisite and he looks over the state budget laid in the state legislature.  He constitutes the state finance commission every 5 years and he takes over the control of contingency fund of the state and he makes advances to meet unforeseen expenditure.

Judicial powers of the governor:

Like president, the governor is vested with the power to grant pardons for certain cases under article 161 of the Indian Constitution.  Accordingly , he has the pardoning power to grant pardon, reprieve, respite, remit and commute.

Consultation is made with the governor before appointing the judges of the High court by president . Governor makes certain appointments, postings and promotions of the district court judges in consultation with the respective high court of the state. He also appoints the persons to the judicial services in consultation with the high court and public service commission of the state.

Author: sathiya v,
Dr.Ambedkar Law university, chennai

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