Competitive Exams: The State Executive & the State Legislature: India

In India, except Jammu & Kashmir, all the States have the same pattern of Government as the Centre.

Powers and authority of the State executive extend only to the territory comprising the State, while that of the Union Executive extend to the whole of India.

The Governor

  • The Constitution provides for an office of the Governor in the States (Article 153).
  • Usually, there is a Governor for each State, but the Constitution (seventh amendment) Act of 1956, facilitated the appointment of the same person as a Governor for two or more States or Lt. Governor of the Union Territory.
  • A Governor is the chief executive head of a State, but like the President of India, he is a nominal executive head (or de jure or titular or Constitutional head).
  • When a Governor discharges the responsibilities of more than one State, he acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the respective States.
  • The Governor also acts as an agent of the Central Government and therefore, the office of the Governor has a dual role.

Appointment and Conditions

  • A Governor is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal, on the recommendations of the Union Council of Ministers.
  • He is an agent of the Centre to which he reports fortnightly, on the affairs of the State.
  • His usual term of office is five years but he holds office during the pleasure of the President.
  • He can also be transferred from one State to another by the President.
  • He can also resign any time by addressing his resignation to the President.
  • The Legislature of a State or a High Court has no role in the removal of a Governor.
  • A person may be appointed as a Governor for any number of terms.

Conditions for Governor to be appointed

  • Citizen of India
  • He should have completed the age of 35 years.
  • He should not be a member of either House of the Parliament or of the House of the State Legislature.
  • He should not hold any other office of profit.
  • His emoluments, allowances and privileges shall be determined by the Parliament of India.
  • When the same person is appointed as the Governor of two or more States, the emoluments and allowances payable to him shall be allocated among the States in such proportion as determined by the President of India.
  • His emoluments and allowances should not be diminished during his term of office.
  • The Oath of the office to the Governor is administered by the Chief Justice of the concerned State High Court and in his absence, the senior-most Judge of that Court available.

Salary, Allowances & Immunities to the Governor

  • The salary and allowances of the Governor are drawn from the Consolidated Fund of State.
  • The Governor is entitled to a salary of Rs. 36, 000 per month, rent-free accommodation and other allowances under the provision of the Governor (salary and other allowances) Act, 1982.
  • Since 1987, it has been provided that the salary and other allowances of the Governor cannot be diminished to his disadvantage during the term of his office.
  • Under Article 361, a Governor is not answerable to any court for the performance of the power and duties of his office.
  • No criminal proceedings can be instituted or continued in any form as long as a person holds the office of the Governor. However, no such immunity is available in case of civil cases, the only respite being that the Governor should be given a two months'prior notice containing full details of such proceedings.
  • A Court cannot issue an arrest warrant or other punishments during his term of the office.

Powers and Functions

  • A Governor possesses Executive, Legislative, Financial and Judicial powers analogous to the President of India.
  • He has no diplomatic, military or emergency powers like the President.
  • The Governor has also been given certain discretionary powers which are not available to the President.