Governor Notes


Article 153 to 167 in part VI of the constitution deals with the state executive which consists of Governor, Chief Minister, Council of ministers and the advocate general of state.

The Governor is the executive head of the state and he is also the agent of central government.

Constitutional provisions

Appointment of the governor

The governor of any state is appointed by the president under his hand and seal. He is neither directly nor indirectly elected. He is a nominee of central government. But, the SC in 1979 held that the office of governor is a separate constitutional post and not any employment under central government.

This mode of appointment of governor is taken from Canada where unlike America (here governor of a state is directly elected), where the governor of a province is appointed by the centre.

Qualifications for appointment

  1. The person should be a citizen of India.
  2. He should have completed 35 years of age.

Conditions of governor’s office

  • He should not be a member of any house of parliament or a house of state legislature. If any such person is appointed as governor then he is deemed to have vacated his seat in that house.
  • He should not hold any other office of profit.
  • He is entitled to Raj Bhawan, such emoluments and allowances as determined by the parliament. The current monthly salary of governor is Rs.3.50 Lakhs.
  • If any person is appointed as the governor of two or more states, then the emoluments and allowance payable to him will be shared between the states in a proportion determined by the president.

Immunity to the office of governor

The governor enjoys personal immunity from legal liability for his official acts.

During, his term of office, he is immune from any criminal proceedings, even in respect of his personal acts.

Oath to the office of Governor

The oath of office to the governor is administered by the Chief Justice of concerned High court and in his absence senior most judge of that court.

Term of the office of governor

  • Period of office – 5 years. However, this term is subjected to the pleasure of the president.
  • The governor can file his resignation to the president.
  • The constitution does not lay down any ground of removal of governor by the president.
  • A governor can hold office beyond a term of 5 years to avoid interregnum.

Powers and Functions of the Governor

Executive Powers

  • All executive actions of the Government of a state are normally taken in his name
  • He can make rules specifying the manner in which the order and other instruments shall be executed.
  • He can make rules for more convenient transaction of the business of a state government and for the allocation among the ministers of the said business.
  • He appoints the chief minister and other ministers. They also hold office during his pleasure.
  • He appoints the advocate general of a state and determine his renumeration. The advocate general holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • He appoints the state election commissioner and determines his conditions of service and tenure of office.
  • He appoints the Chairman and members of the state public service commission. However, they can be removed only by the president and not by a Governor
  • He can recommend the imposition of constitutional emergency in a state to the president. During the period of president’s rule in a state, the Governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the president
  • He acts as the chancellor of university in the state. He also appoints the vice chancellors of universities in the state

Legislative powers of governor

  • He can summon or prorogue the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assembly
  • He can address the state legislature at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year
  • He can send messages to the house or houses of the state legislature with respect to a bill pending in the legislature or otherwise
  • He can appoint any member of the state legislative assembly to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the speaker and deputy speaker falls vacant. Similarly, he can appoint any member of state legislature council to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the chairman and deputy chairman falls vacant.
  • He nominates one-sixth of the members of the state legislative council from amongst persons having special knowledge in literature, science, art and social service.
  • He can nominate one member to the state legislature assembly from the Anglo- Indian community.
  • He decides on the question of disqualification of members of the state legislature in consultation with the election commission.

Powers with respect to bills

When a bill is sent to the Governor after it is passed by state legislature he can –

  • Give his assent to the bill
  • Withhold his assent to the bill
  • Return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. However, if the bill is passed again by the state legislature with or without amendments the governor has to give his assent to the bill
  • Reserve the bill for the consideration of the president. In one case, such reservation is obligatory that is where the bill passed by the state legislature endangers the position of the state High Court. In addition, the Governor also reserve the bill if it is of the following nature: 1. Against the provision of constitution, 2.Opposed to the DPSP, 3. Against the larger interest of country, 4. Of grave national importance, 5. Dealing with compulsory acquisition of property under article 31 A of the constitution.
  • He can promulgate ordinances when the state legislature is not in session. These ordinances must be approved by the state legislature in 6 weeks from its reassembly. He can also withdraw an Ordinance any time.
  • He lays the report of state finance commission, state public service commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General relating to the accounts of the state, before the state legislature

Financial Powers

  • He sees that the annual financial statement is laid before the state legislature.
  • Money bill can be introduced in the state legislature only with his prior recommendation
  • No demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.
  • He can make advances out of the contingency fund of the state to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
  • He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to review the financial position of the panchayats and the municipalities.

Pardoning powers of governor (Article 161)

The governor of a state possesses the pardoning power under Article 161 of the Constitution of India. Hence, the governor can also grant Pardon, Reprieves, Respites and Remissions of punishment or suspend, Remit and Commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against the State Law. But the pardoning power of the governor’s differs from that of the president in following two respects:

  • The president can pardon sentences inflicted by court martial while the Governor cannot.
  • The president can pardon death sentence while the Governor cannot. Even if the state law prescribes death sentence, the power to grant pardon lies with the president and not the Governor. However, the governor can Suspend, Remit or commute a death sentence.