Governor

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Overview:

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader TR Baalu has recently urged “all like-minded MPs” to support a proposal to remove Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi.

About Governor:

Governor’s appointment, removal:

  • Article 155 and 156: Under Article 155 and 156 of the Constitution, a Governor is appointed by the President and holds office “during the pleasure of the President”.
  • If this pleasure is withdrawn before completion of the five-year term, the Governor has to step down.
  • As the President works on the aid and advice of the Prime Minister and the council of ministers, in effect, the Governor can be appointed and removed by the central government.
  • Thus, a Governor is a representative of the Union government in states.
  • Article 163: Article 163 of the Constitution says the Governor will normally be aided and advised by the Council of Ministers except in those functions which require his discretion.
  • While the Governor’s duties and responsibilities lie in a particular state, there is no provision for impeaching the Governor.

Disagreements:

  • There are no provisions laid down in the Constitution for the manner in which the Governor and the state must engage publicly when there is a difference of opinion.
  • The management of differences has traditionally been guided by respect for each other’s boundaries.

Cases:

  • Since the Governor holds office “on the pleasure of the President”, questions have been raised time and again on whether the Governor has any security of tenure, and if the President is obligated to show reasons for recalling a Governor.
    • In Surya Narain Choudhary vs Union of India (1981), the Rajasthan High Court held that the pleasure of the President was not justiciable, the Governor had no security of tenure and can be removed at any time by the President withdrawing pleasure.
    • In BP Singhal vs Union of India (2010), the Supreme Court elaborated on the pleasure doctrine. It upheld that “no limitations or restrictions are placed on the ‘at pleasure’ doctrine”, but that “does not dispense with the need for a cause for withdrawal of the pleasure”.
      • The President can remove the Governor from office “at any time without assigning any reason and without giving any opportunity to show cause”, the power to remove can’t be exercised in an “arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner”.

Source : Indian Express