Governor


Articles related with the Governor—

[Article-153] There shall be a Governor for each State: [Provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the appointment of the same person as Governor for two or more States.]

[Article-154] The executive power of the State shall be vested in the Governor and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.

[Article-155] The Governor of a State shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

[Article-156] The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.

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.

Thus, there is no office of vice-governor (in the state) like that of Vice-President at the Centre.

The Governor is the nominal head of a state, while the Chief Minister is the executive head.

All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the Governor.

However, in reality he/she merely gives his consent to the various executive actions.

He or she is devoid of taking any major decisions.

The real powers in the executive dealings of a state rest with the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.

According to 7th amendment in the Constitution of India, brought about in 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states.

Apart from the governors in the states, Lieutenant governors are appointed in Union Territories of Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island and Pudducherry.

All other union-territories are governed by an Administrative Head (an IAS officer).

The only exception is Chandigarh. The governor of Punjab is also the lieutenant governor of Chandigarh.

The powers of the Lieutenant Governor of a union-territory are equivalent to the powers of a Governor of a state in India. Both are appointed by the President of India for a term of 5 years.

 

Eligibility Criteria—

The governor is neither directly elected by the people nor indirectly elected by a specially constituted electoral college as is the case with the president.

He/she is appointed by the president.

He/she is a nominee of the Central government.

But, as held by the Supreme Court in 1979, the office of governor of a state is not an employment under the Central government.

It is an independent constitutional office and is not under the control of or subordinate to the Central government.

The Constitution lays down only two qualifications for the appointment of a person as a governor.

These are:

[1] He/she should be a citizen of India.

[2] He/she should have completed the age of 35 years.

Additionally, two conventions have also developed in this regard over the years.

First, he should not belong to the state where he is appointed, so that he is free from the local politics.

Second, while appointing the governor, the president is required to consult the chief minister of the state concerned, so that the smooth functioning of the constitutional machinery in the state is ensured.

However, both the conventions have been violated in some of the cases.

He/she 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/she is deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as the governor.

He/she should not hold any other office of profit.

He/she is entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament.

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.

His/her emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished during his/her term of office.

 

Duty Term of the Governor—

The Governor is dismissed by the President, at whose pleasure he holds the office.

In reality, the President is advised by the Prime Minister of the country, who decides the dismissal of the Governor of a state, usually on the grounds of gross delinquency namely corruption, bribery and violation of the Constitution.

The 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 impeached from office, unlike that of a President.

The Residence of the Governor—

As the Governor is the nominal head of a particular state in India, he or she is entitled to reside in the Raj Bhavan of that state, during his or her term of office.

Like the President of India who resides in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, each state has a Raj Bhavan, which is allotted to the Governor and his family.

The Governor must vacate the Raj Bhavan on the expiry of his or her term of office.

 

The first woman to become a Governor of a state in India was Sarojini Naidu. She was the Governor of Uttar Pradesh from 15 August 1947 till her demise on 2 March 1949.