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constitutional_law:part-2:state-executive

Executive in the States

The Governor is the constitutional head of the State. The real executive of the state is the council of the Ministers/Cabinet headed by the Chief Minister.

Governor

According to the Constitution of India the President appoints a Governor for each State. Two or more States may have one Governor. Let us study the qualifications, powers, functions and position of the Governor, as the head of State Executive.

Qualifications for Appointment

The Governor of a State is appoined by the President of India. To be eligible for appointment as Governor, a person must have the following qualifications as per Article 157–158.

  1. He/she must be a citizen of India.
  2. He/she must have completed the age of 35 years.
  3. He/she should not hold any office of Profit.

Term of office of the Governor

As per Article 156:

  1. Governor shall hold the office during the pleasure of the President.
  2. The Governor may resign his/her office; otherwise the Governor shall hold office for a period of 5 years from the date on which the he/she enteres upon his/her office.

Powers of the Governor

The Governor has executive, legislative, financial, judicial and some other important miscellaneous powers.

Executive Powers

The Governor is the head of the State Executive. All the executive functions in the state are carried on in the name of Governor. He/she makes various important appointments. The Governor appoints the Chief Minister of the State. He/She also appoints other ministers on the recommendation of the Chief Minister. The Advocate General of the state, Chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission are appointed by the Governor. The Governor discharges all these functions on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by Chief Minister.

Legislative Powers

The Governor is the part and parcel of the State Legislature. He/she can summon and prorogue the State Legislature. He/she can dissolve the Legislative Assembly on the recommendation of the Chief Minister. He/she can address the session of the state Legislative Assembly or the joint session of both the houses if they exist in any state. The Governor is empowered to nominate one sixth members of the total strength of Legislative Council, if it exists in any State. Any resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly becomes a law only after getting the assent of the Governor. He/she has the power to issue the ordinances when the Assembly is not in session and these ordinances have the weightage of a Law.

Financial Power

  1. No money bill can be introduced in the Assembly without the prior permission of the Governor.
  2. The annual budget or the supplementary budget is introduced in the name of the Governor.
  3. The Governor has the control over the State contingency fund.

Miscellaneous Powers

The Governor has the power to grant pardon, reprieves, remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute a matter to which the executive power of the state extends. The Governor of a State acts as head of the state as well as representative of the Union Government and enjoys certain Discretionary Powers.

  1. If at some point of time Governor feels that the State Government is not working or is not able to work as per the Constitution of India, then he/ she may send a report to President of India for imposition of President’s rule.
  2. If no party gets majority in Legislative Assembly the Governor can use his discretion to appoint the Chief Minister.
  3. In certain circumstances Governor may reserve a bill for the consideration of President. These powers of Governor were meant to deal with extraordinary situations.

The Chief Minister

Each State has a Council of Minister to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his/her functions. Chief Minister is the real head of the government in the State. The Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head exercises real authority at the State level. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. The person who commands the majority support in the State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor. The other ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advise of the Chief Minister. The Ministers included in the Council of Ministers must belong to either. House of the State Legislature. A person who is not a member of the state legislature may be appointed a Minister, but he/she ceases to hold office if he/she is not elected to the State Legislature within six months of his/her appointment. The portfolios to the members of the Council of Minister are allocated by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. Powers and Functions of the Chief Minister The Chief Minister is the head of the Council of Minister of his/her State. The constitutional position of the Chief Minister is more or less similar to that of the Prime Minister. The Chief Minister plays an important role in the administration of the State.

The power and functions of the Chief Minister are:

  1. Chief Minister is the real head of the State Government. Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advise of the chief Minister. Portfolios to the Ministers are allocated by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  2. Chief Minister presides over the Council of Ministers/Cabinet meeting. He/ she coordinates the functioning of different Ministers. He/she guides the functioning of the Cabinet/Council of Ministers.
  3. Chief Minister plays a key role in framing laws and policies of the State Government. Bills are introduced in the State Legislature with his/her approval. He/she is the Chief spokesman of the policies of his/her government both inside and outside the State Legislature.
  4. The Constitution provides that the Chief Minister shall communicate to the Governor about all decisions of the Council of Ministers/Cabinet relating to the administration and affairs of the State and proposals for legislation.
  5. If the Governor so requires, the Chief Minister submits for consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered or approved by the Cabinet.
  6. The Chief Minister is the sole link of communication between the Cabinet and the Governor. The Governor has the right to be informed by the Chief Minister about the decisions taken by the Cabinet/Council of Ministers.

Thus, it is clear that the real authority is vested with the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. The real executive of the State is the Council of Ministers/Cabinet headed by the Chief Minister.