Discretionary Powers of the Governor of a State in India

AuthorMahendra Pal Singh
Published date01 September 2017
Date01 September 2017
Subject MatterArticles
Indian Journal of Public
63(3) 372–379
© 2017 IIPA
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0019556117720613
1 Central University of Haryana, Haryana, India.
2 NUJS, Kolkata and Professor of Law, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.
3 Centre for Comparative Law, National Law University Delhi, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Mahendra Pal Singh, National Law University, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi-110078, India.
E-mail: mpjitholi@gmail.com
Discretionary Powers
of the Governor of a
State in India
Mahendra Pal Singh1, 2, 3
By now it is well established from the provisions of the Constitution, their
history, practice and interpretation that the Constitution establishes a parliamen-
tary form of government at the levels of the union and the states in which their
decisions are expressed respectively in the name of the president and the gov-
ernor, while all these decisions are taken by a council of ministers headed by the
prime minister in the case of the union and headed by the chief ministers in the
states. Doubts have, however, persisted in view of the difference between the
wordings of the relevant provisions of the Constitution—Articles 74 and 163,
respectively, for the union and the states. But time and again the Supreme Court
has held that in view of the parliamentary form of government at the union
and in the states, the governor has no discretionary powers except the ones
either expressly provided in the Constitution or that can be inferred by neces-
sary implication. Special emphasis has been given to the constitutional scheme of
democratic rule both at the union and the states along with the goal of maintain-
ing the unity and integrity of the nation by subjecting the governor to the super-
vision of the union in the exercise of his discretionary powers so as to exclude
every possibility for the governor to exercise any power in his personal capacity.
Discretion, impeachment, parliamentary form of government, council of minister,
democracy, unity of the nation, judicial review

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