Chapter two of Part- VI of the Constitution of India declares the existence of post of a Governor through its Article 153 that pens down: “There shall be a Governor of each state”.
Qualification, Appointment, and Term of the Office
Articles 157 and 158 deal with qualification and conditions for entering the Governor’s office.
According to Article 157 a person, who is a citizen of India and has attained the age of 35 years, is qualified for holding the post.
It becomes when one goes through Article 158, clear that there are many conditions that a Governor has to accept to become or hold the office.
These conditions are:
A person, who is a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of Legislature of any State Specified in the first schedule, cannot become a Governor, says Article 158. The Article further says, ‘if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of such State be appointed Governor, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as Governor’ (clause 1 Article 158). Clause 2 of the Article 158, in a single sentence, makes it clear that a Governor cannot hold any other office of profit.
The Appointment and Term
On the appointment of an Executive head of the State, the Article 155 states rather plainly that “The Governor shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal”. On the term of the office of Governor the Article 156 states that he shall hold the of the during the pleasure of President (clause 1); he can resign by sending a resignation letter, under his hand, to the President (clause 2); he holds his office for a term of five years from the date he enters upon his office (clause 3).
The clause-3 also states that the Governor, even after expiration of his term, will continue to hold the office till his successor enters upon the office.
Powers of a Governor
A Governor of a state has three types of powers:
- Executive power
- Legislative power
- Emergency power
The Constitution of India, through its Article 154, has made the Governor the head of the State Executive. Clause 1 of Article 154 states, “The executive power of the State shall be vested in the Governor and shall be exercised by him either directly or through offices subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution”.
One thing becomes crystal clear that through this clause the Constitution emphasizes the Supreme Power of the Constitution of India; it says at the last of the clause 1 of the Article 154 that the Governor has to apply and use his power as an Executive head of a State in ‘accordance with the Constitution’. So a Governor cannot act arbitrarily. He has to follow the rules set by the Constitution.
The power to grant pardons, etc. comes within the ambit of the Executive Powers conferred through Article 161 that, while dealing with these powers, states that the Governor of a State has got the power to grant pardons, reprieves or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or continue the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of state extends.
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Apart from having the right to address and send messages, and summon, prorogue and dissolve the State Legislature, according to Article 202, the Governor has the power to ask for the annual financial statement to be laid before the State Legislature: Article 207 puts forward the Governor’s power of making demands for grant and recommending “Money Bill”.
Governor’s Power of Veto
When a Bill, after being passed by the House of Legislature, is presented to the Governor, he may grant his assent to the Bill, making the Bill a Law; or he may withhold his assent, causing the Bill to fail in becoming a Law; or, he may return the Bill with a message, it the Bill is not a Money Bill.
Article 356 empowers the Executive head of the State to send a report to the President, if he becomes satisfied that a situation has emerged in which the State Government cannot function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, thus inviting the President to assume himself the functions of the State Government. This is generally termed as President’s Rule.
It is important here to mention that clause 4 of Article 356 States that a proclamation (of President’s Rule) ‘so approved shall, unless revoked, cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months’.