Governor is the most debated and abused post of Indian constitution mainly because on one hand he act as head of state on the other as an agent of centre at state level so there is a continuous demand to reform it.
- In past, centre has used it to bring President rule (A-356) and abolish state governments for political reasons using governors
- With the change of government at centre there is major reshuffling of Governors which dilutes the authority of that post.
Hence it is needed to make Governors post more stable both at entry and exit levels;
- At entry level there is a need to consult respective CM’s while appointing Governor as mentioned in Sarkaria and Punchi commissions.
- At exit levels it is need to bring impeachment procedure which needs ratification of both center and respective state to bring some authority to governors.
Though many cases like B. P. Singhal (2010) has empowered the post of governor but before defining law for post of Governor we need to define the post of governor its need and its authority which will give us clarity while making any law with regard to this post.
Various committees over time have also given some recommendations on the issue:
- Sarkaria Commission: Governors should not be removed before completion of five year term. The governors should get an opportunity to explain their conduct in a particular situation, which has made them liable for removal.
- Venkatchalliah Commission: Governors to have security of tenure. CM should also be consulted before removal.
- Puncchi Commission: Many radical recommendations like:
- The term “Pleasure of president” to be removed and the state legislature should be the removal authority (i.e. impeachment by state legislature).
- Fixed tenure
What are SC’s view on Governor’s powers? (Arunachal Pradesh President Rule judgement)
- Governor has no power to unilaterally summon an Assembly session unless the government has, in his view, lost its majority.
- Governor cannot take steps relating to disqualification of the Speaker.
- Governor is barred from unilaterally sending messages to the Assembly on any matter.
- Governor is bound by the “aid and advice” of the elected Council of Ministers as the default rule.
- The matters in which governor has discretionary powers must be specified “by or under the Constitution”.
- Governor merely possessed the formal authority of state and could act as a safety valve in case there was a breakdown of constitutional machinery.
- Critically comment on the issue of appointment and removal of Governors of States in India, and the opinion of the Supreme Court and various committees on the same. (200 Words)
- Looking at the way the governors of states have functioned since independence, do you think is there a need to amend the constitution to give states power to impeach their governors? Critically comment. (200 Words)