Articles 153 to 167 in Part VI of the Constitution deal with the state executive. The state executive consists of the governor, the chief minister, the council of ministers and the advocate general of the state.
- The governor is appointed by the president of India.
- The governor is the chief executive head of the state.
- The governor also acts as an agent of the central government. Therefore, the office of governor has a dual role.
Qualifications to be a Governor :
- He should be a citizen of India.
- He should have completed the age of 35 years.
- He must not hold any office of profit.
Conditions of Governor’s office :
The Constitution lays down the following conditions for the governor’s office:
1. He should not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the state legislature. If any such person is appointed as governor, he is deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as the governor.
2. He should not hold any other office of profit.
3. He is entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residence (the Raj Bhavan).
4. He is entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament.
5. When the same person is appointed as the governor of two or more states, the emoluments and allowances payable to him are shared by the states in such proportion as determined by the President.
Note: The salary and allowances of the governor are drawn
from the consolidated fund of the states.
Like the President, the governor is also entitled to a number of privileges and immunities. He enjoys personal immunity from legal liability for his official acts. However,after giving two months’ notice, civil proceedings can be instituted against him during his term of office in respect of his personal acts.
The oath of office to the governor is administered by the chief justice of the concerned state high court and, in his absence, the seniormost judge of that court available.
Term of Governor’s Office :
A governor holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office. However, this term of five years is subject to the pleasure of the President. Further, he
can resign at any time by addressing a resignation letter to the President. The Constitution does not lay down any grounds upon which a governor may be removed by the President.
Note: The normal tenure of a governor is five years.
Powers and functions of Governor :
A governor possesses executive, legislative, financial and judicial powers more or less analogous to the President of India. However, he has no diplomatic, military or emergency powers like the President. The powers and functions of the governor can be studied under the following heads:
Executive Powers :
1. All executive actions of the government of a state are formally taken in his name.
2. He appoints the chief minister and other ministers. They also hold office during his pleasure.
3. He appoints the advocate general of a state and determines his remuneration. The advocate general holds office during the pleasure of the governor.
4. He appoints the state election commissioner and determines his conditions of service and tenure of office. However, the state election commissioner can be removed only in like manner and on like grounds as a judge of a high court.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. He acts as the chancellor of universities in the state. He also appoints the vice-chancellors of universities in the state.
Legislative Powers :
1. He can summon or prorogue the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assembly.
2. He can address the state legislature at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year.
3. He can appoint any member of the State legislative assembly to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can appoint any member of the state legislature council to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both Chairman and Deputy Chairman fall vacant.
4. He nominates one-sixth of the members of the state legislative council from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
5. He can nominate one member to the state legislature assembly from the Anglo-Indian Community.
6. When a bill is sent to the governor after it is passed by state legislature, he can:
Give his assent to the bill, or
Withhold his assent to the bill, or
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, or reserve the bill for the consideration of the president.
7. He can promulgate ordinances when the state legislature is not in session.
8. 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.
Financial Powers :
1. He makes the state budget to be laid before the state legislature.
2. Money bills can be introduced in the state legislature only with his prior recommendation.
3. No demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.
4. He can make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the state to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
5. He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to review the financial position of the panchayats and the municipalities.
Judicial Powers :
1. He can grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishments or suspend, remit and commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends.
2. He is consulted by the President while appointing the judges of the concerned state high court.
Chief Minister :
The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor.
The relation between the Governor and his Ministers is similar to that between the President and his Ministers.