Polity Notes

State Executive Governor

Governor is a constitutional post under Article 153 of our constitution. Governor is head of the state. He is symbolic/nominal head of the state government, whereas Chief Minister is real head of state government. Governor of a state is appointed by President of India. We have borrowed this feature of appointment of state Governor by the centre from Constitution of Canada. The minimum age to be appointed as Governor of a state is 35 years. Tenure of Governor is 5 years, but not fixed, holds office during the pleasure of President. This means he can be removed by President at any time without assigning any reason. A person can be appointed Governor of more than one state simultaneously. A Governor can be transferred from one state to another by the President at any time. Governor is affirmed oath of office and secrecy by the Chief Justice of the State High Court. Governor can resign by submitting his resignation to the President.

Governor of a state too under Article 161 have pardoning power. He has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law, but he cannot grant pardon to a person awarded death sentence (only our President can grant pardon to a person awarded death sentence).

Difference between Governor & Lieutenant Governor

Governors are appointed in states whereas Lt. Governors are appointed in Union Territories. Both are appointed by our President. In our 28 states their head are Governors while in 5 out of 8 Union Territories are headed by Lt. Governors. (Delhi, J & K, Ladakh, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar are headed by Lt. Governors and Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, & Dadar and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu are headed by administrators). Governors are nominal/symbolic head whereas Lt. Governors are real head of Union Territories. Governor has to act on the advice of State Council of Ministers headed by Chief Minister but no such constitutional provision is for Lt. Governors. Infact Lt. Governors of Union Territories are more powerful then Governors of States.

Our Constituent Assembly members wished that Scholars, Senior Bureaucrats, Administrators, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, Professors, etc should be appointed as Governors who will work impartially but in practise senior party workers, politicians and close relives of senior Politicians, are being appointed as governors. Again one more unhealthy practise is going on. Whenever there is a change in Union Government, the new Union Government do replaces previously appointed Governors. Governors are supposed to act impartial but they do act as agent of ruling party. It is a convention that generally a person is not appointed Governor of his home state.

Recently, Baby Rani Maurya resigned from the post of Governor of Uttrakhand to take part in active politics. Mr. Thawar Chand Gehlot ex-Union Minister of Social Justice and empowerment was appointed as Governor of Karnataka.