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  • 05 January, 2021

  • 17 Min Read



Article 153 states that there shall be a Governor for each state. The same person can be appointed as Governor for 2 or more states was added by 7th amendment act 1956. Article 154 states that the executive power of the state is vested in him and is exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him.

Appointment & Tenure (Article 155 & 156)

  • Governor is the executive Head/Nominal Head of the State.
  • The Governor of a State is appointed by the President.
  • Hold office during the pleasure of the President.
  • May resign by submitting his resignation to the President.
  • Otherwise, the normal term of his office is 5 years.
  • Grounds for removal of the Governor are not mentioned in the Constitution; however, he must be involved in gross delinquency like bribery, treason or violation of the Constitution for such an action.
  • A President may transfer a Governor appointed to one State to another State for the rest of the term.
  • A Governor whose term has expired may be reappointed in the same State or any other State.

Qualifications & Conditions for office (article 157 & 158) of Governor

He must be -

  • A citizen of India.
  • Has attained 35 years of age.
  • Not a Member of Parliament or state legislature.
  • Not hold any office of profit under the government.
  • His emoluments, allowances and privileges are determined by Parliament by law.
  • The emoluments are charged to the Consolidated Fund of India and cannot be diminished during his term of office.
  • If the same person acts as Governor of 2 or more states, the Constitution provides that President may decide about the allocation of emoluments of the Governor among states proportion-wise (Article 158(3A)).


Article 159 says that the Governor and every person discharging the functions of the Governor is to take an oath or affirmation before the Chief Justice of the High Court of that state, or in his absence, the senior-most judge of that court available.

Article 160 gives the president the power to make such provision as he thinks fit for the discharge of the functions of the Governor in any contingency not provided for in the Constitution.

Executive Powers of Governor

  • Article 166: All executive actions of the state are to be taken in the name of the Governor. He acts as a representative of the President in the state. He has the power to recommend President that the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. This leads to the imposition of President's rule in the State under Article 356.
  • All major appointments in the state are made by the Governor - those of CM, Ministers, and Advocate-General (and decide his remuneration). Chairman & members of State Public Service Commission (PSC), State Election Commissioner and Finance Commission. Members and Chairman of State PSC are however removed by President.
  • He is the Chancellor of various universities in the state and appoints their Vice-Chancellors.

Legislative Powers of Governor

  • He is an integral part of the state legislature, though not a member of it, he discharges some important legislative functions.
  • He summons the house(s) of the legislature of the state to meet at such a time and place as he thinks fit. However, 6 months must not lapse between the last sitting in one session and the first in the next session.
  • He may prorogue the house(s) and dissolve the legislative assembly.
  • He has the right to reserve certain bills for the assent of the President [Article 200].
  • He nominates l/6th of the members of the Legislative council having special knowledge in literature, science, arts, cooperative movement and social service.
  • Decides on the question of disqualification of a member State Legislature in consultation with the Election Commission.
  • His most important power is the ordinance-making power [Article213].
  • But the Governor cannot issue an ordinance without the previous instructions from the President in cases in which-

(a) Bill would have required his previous sanction;

(b) Required to be reserved under the Constitution for the assent of the President.

  • The ordinances have to be approved by the state legislature, in the same way as the Parliament does in the case of Presidential ordinances.
  • The scope of the ordinance-making power of the Governor
  • is co-extensive with the legislative powers of the State Legislature and is confined to the subjects mentioned in state List and Concurrent List.
  • Submission of reports from Auditor General, State Public Service Commission, State Finance Commission, etc. before the Legislature.

Discretionary Powers of Governor

  • The discretion of the Governor is wider than that of the President. Article 163 (2) provides that as to the question of a matter of discretion, it is the Governor himself who decides which matter falls in his discretion. And his action based on such discretion shall not be called in question.
  • Though in most of the matters he has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers, there are some matters in which he can act according to his discretion.
  • He selects the CM if no party has a clear-cut majority.
  • Dismissal of Ministry if he is convinced that it has lost majority support. But SC in S.R. Bommai Vs UOI (1994) case directed that his opinion must not be subjective and compulsory floor-testing must be done.
  • Dissolving the Legislative Assembly.
  • Submission of report to the President regarding the failure of constitutional machinery in the State.
  • Reservation of certain bills for the consideration of the President (Article 200). He must reserve the bill that endangers the position of the high court. In addition, he can also reserve the bills that are against the provisions of the Constitution, are against larger national interest or DPSP and which deal with compulsory acquisition of property under Article 31 A.

Financial Powers of Governor

  • A money bill cannot be introduced in the Legislative Assembly of the State without the recommendation of the Governor.
  • No demand for grants can be made except on the recommendation of the Governor.
  • The Governor is required to cause to be laid before the house or houses of the legislature “annual financial statements”, that is “Budget” [Article 202].
  • He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to review the financial position of the panchayats and the municipalities.

Judicial powers of governor

  • Governor appoints judges of the courts below HC
  • He is consulted by the President before appointing judges of the HC.
  • Under Article 161 he can grant pardons, reprieves, and remission of punishment to the persons convicted under state laws. However, he has no power to pardon a sentence of death or remit a sentence by the court martial (military court).

Other Powers

The Governor receives the report of the Auditor General and places it before the State Legislature. He places the report of the state Public Service Commission along with the observations of the Council of Ministers before the State Legislature. As chancellor of various universities within the jurisdiction of the state, he appoints the vice-chancellors of the universities.

Comparison between Powers and Position of the president and the Governor



The President is not only the Head of the State internal and the Government, he is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Each state has its own laws and the Governor, who looks after the governance of every state. He is the person, who finalises the budget of the state and also has the power to appoint judges in the courts.

The President cannot function without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

Governors can exist without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

The President can grant pardon, reprieve, respite, suspension, remission of Commutation in respect to punishment or sentence by a Court Martial.

Governor can suspend, remit or commute a death sentence. The Governor does not enjoy power of pardoning a death sentence.

Every Ordinary Bill, after it is passed by both the houses of the Parliament either single or at a joint sitting is presented to the President for his assent.

Every Ordinary bill after it is passed by the Legislative Assembly in case of a Unicameral Legislature or both the Houses in case a Bicameral Legislature either in the first instance or in the second instance is presented to the Governor for his assent.

I Every Money Bill after

it is passed by both

House of the Parliament

is presented to the

President for his assent.

Every Money Bill after it is the passed by the State Legislature is presented to the Governor for his assent.

A President needs no instructions for making an ordinance

Governor can make an ordinance without instructions from the President only in three cases i.e. if a bill containing the same provisions would have required the previous sanction of the President for its introduction into the State Legislature or if he would have deemed it necessary to reserve a Bill containing the same provisions for the consideration of the President or it an act of the State Legislature containing the same provisions would have been invalid without receiving the President's assent.

Source: Aspirenotes

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