Do you know how vital the Governor for a state is?
According to Article 157,’No person shall be eligible for appointment as Governor if he is not a citizen of India.’
Who is Governor?
The Governor is the head of a state just like the President is the head of the republic. The Governor is the nominal head of a state and chief executive of a State in India. The President of India appoints the Governor.
Eligibility of Governor:
- Any citizen of 35 years of age and above is eligible.
- He or she must be a citizen of India.
- He or she must not hold any other office of profit.
- He or she must not be a member of the Legislature of the Union or of any other state.
- The same person can be the Governor of two or more states.
Appointment of Governor:
The Governor not elected by the process of direct or indirect voting (like the Chief Minister, the Prime Minister or the President). The Governor of a state is selected directly by the President of India, for five years. The Governor must meet all the eligibility criteria enumerated above, to be appointed by the President.
Duty of Governor:
A governor of a state in India continues office for five years, but it is subject to termination earlier if:
- The Governor is released by the President, at whose pleasure he holds the office. The President is proposed by the Prime Minister of the country, who decides the removal of the Governor of a state, usually on the grounds of gross misconduct namely corruption, bribery and violation of the Constitution.
- Governor resigns from his post. There is no retirement age of the Governor, as he or she stays in office for a fixed term. There is no provision for a Governor to be questioned from office, unlike that of a President.
Powers to the Governor:
The Governor of a state has specific executive, legislative and judicial powers. He or she also possesses certain optional or emergency powers. But, unlike the President, the Governor does not have any sensitive or military powers.
The powers and functions of Governor are listed in detail:
- Executive powers
- Legislative powers
- Financial powers
- Judicial powers
- Pardoning Powers
- Emergency Powers
1. Executive Powers
- The Governor has the power to elect the Council of Ministers including (the Chief Minister of the state, the Advocate General and the members of the State Public Service Commission). However, the Governor cannot exclude the members of the State Public Service Commission as an order; the President can only remove them.
- The President consults the Governor in the appointment of the Judges of the state High Court.
- The Governor appoints Judges of the District Courts.
- In case the Governor feels that the Vidhan sabha has not appropriately represented the Anglo-Indian community, he or she can nominate one member of the community to the Legislative Assembly of the state.
- In all the states where a bicameral legislature is present, the Governor has a right to nominate the members to the Legislative Council.
2. Legislative Powers:
This power of Governor can be classified further into two subgroups i.e., W.R.T bills and W.R.T legislature.
A. With Respect to Bills:
- All bills passed by the Legislative Assembly become law, only after the Governor signs them. In case it is not a money bill, the Governor holds the right to send it back to the Vidhan Sabha for reconsideration.
- But if the Vidhan Sabha sends back the Bill to the Governor the second time, then the Governor has to sign it.
B. With Respect to Legislature:
- The Governor has the power to declare an ordinance when the Legislative Assembly is not in session, and a law has to be brought into effect immediately.
- But, the ordinance is presented in the state legislature in the next session, and remains operative for a total of six weeks, unless the legislature approves it.
3. Financial Powers
- He lays before the legislature annual financial statement (state budget)
- The state legislature introduces the Money bill on his prior recommendation.
- Money from the emergency fund can be withdrawn after his proposal for meeting the unexpected expenditures.
- He constitutes a finance commission every five years to review the financial situation of municipality and panchayats.
4. Judicial Powers
President consults the Governor of the concerned state while making an appointment to the judges of State High Court.
5. Pardoning powers
He has the below-pardoning skills against any offenses to which state power extends.
- Pardon- completely absolve the offender
- Reprieve- stay on the execution of sentence
- Respite-awarding lesser punishment in some particular circumstances
- Remission- reduction of a sentence without changing the character
- Commutation-substitution of one form with other
6. Emergency Powers
In case no political party bags a majority in the Vidhan Sabha of the state, the Governor holds power to use his discretion to select the Chief Minister.
- The Governor informs the President in an official report, of a particular emergency arisen in the state, and imposes ‘President’s Rule’ on behalf of the President.
- The Governor, in such situations, overrides the advice of the Council of Ministers, and directs upon himself, the workings of the state.
Salary of the Governor:
The monthly pay of a Governor is Rs 1,10,000, as defined in the Governor’s (Emoluments, Allowances, and Privileges). The Governor is designated with specific benefits and allowances, which shall not diminish during his office term of five years.
Removal of Governor:
- The central government has the power to remove the Governor of any state at any time without giving any reasons for his removal.
- However, this power cannot be exercised arbitrarily. It uses in rare and exceptional circumstances for valid and compelling reasons.
- The reason that Governor is at disagreement with the systems and views of the central government or central government has lost belief in him cannot be the reason for his dismissal.
- Change in central government cannot be the reason for his dismissal.
- The decision to dismiss a Governor challenged in any court of law. The court, in any case, required, can ask the central government to produce the materials based on which the decision was made to verify the presence of compelling reasons.
- The first Governor-General of India is Lord Mountbatten of Independent India from 1947 – 1948.
- The first Indian Governor-General of India till 1950 was C.Rajgopalachari.
- Sarojini Naidu was the first woman to become Governor of a state in India. She was the Governor of Uttar Pradesh from August 15, 1947, to March 2, 1949.
- A.K.Kidwai was the longest-serving Governor(Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana).
- Bihar Kendra Nath is the Governor of Tripathi and West Bengal.
- Kaliyan Singh is Governor of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.
- Kaptan Singh Solanki is Governor of Punjab handled Haryana too.
- V. Shanmuganthan was Governor Meghalaya and Manipur.
- ESL Narsingh handled Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- Shaktikanta Das is the Governor of India since 2018.
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