Powers of Governor

In our country, the way President has been the status of the head of the country, in the same way, the Governor of each state is also given the rank of the head of the state.
As we know, the president is the first citizen of our country and he is the symbol of unity and integrity of our country. Governors represent him state-wise as agents of the president. The role of a governor in a state government is similar to that of the president in the central government. State Legislature comprises the governor, state legislative assembly, and the state legislative council. However, this legislative council is present in only 6 states, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andra Pradesh, and Karnataka. There is only a Governor and State Legislative Assembly in all other states.
Therefore, in order to better understand the functioning of the state government, It is very important for us to understand the role of the governor along with the legislative assembly.

In this article, we will discuss the powers and duties of the Governor of the state government. The contents of this article will include

  • Introduction
  • Role of Governor
  • Legislative Powers
  • Executive Powers
  • Judicial Powers
  • Financial Powers
  • Emergency Powers


Any work done in any of the states of our country, and any decision taken, whether it is legislative or executive on the subjects under state list and the concurrent list of the schedule 7 of the constitution, like enacting a law in the state, appointing a vital post in the state, etc. all these things are done only in the name of the governor of that state.
That is, a governor represents his state as a single unit.
The President of our country does the appointment of the governor of every state, but the oath is taken in the presence of the chief justice of the high court of that state. The term of office of a governor generally is of 5 years. But the president can remove the governor of any of the states from their office even before the completion of these 5 years, and can make a new appointment.
However, in a state, in case of resignation or unfortunate death of the governor, the chief justice of the high court temporarily acts as the governor of that state. He plays this role until the president appoints a new governor of that state.

If we talk about the basic eligibility to become a governor

  • the age of the person should be minimum of 35 years
  • must have the citizenship of India
  • must not be a member of parliament of any state’s legislature
  • must not have any office of profit under government.

Role of Governor

Governor act as a link between the centre and the state. They keep sending reports of the functioning of the states to the president. Whenever it comes to power, the governor’s position in a state is similar to that of the president in the centre. This is because the governor of a state, being the head of the state cannot do everything on his own, like our president. Mostly they exercise their functions according to the aid and advice of the council of ministers. That is, decisions are taken by the council of ministers but are taken in the name of the governor of the state. But still, the president doesn’t get so many powers against the prime minister at the central level as much as the governor gets against the chief minister of the state.

Let’s discuss the powers of the governor category-wise.

Legislative Powers

The governor is an essential part of a state legislature. A minimum of 2 sessions of the state legislature are held in a year. The governor summons and closes the session of the state legislature. The governor can lose dissolve the State Legislative Assembly but not at their own will. They can only do so either on the recommendation of the chief minister of the state or in case if thinks the state legislative assembly has lost its majority in the lower house, in that case, he asks the ruling party leader(the chief minister) to prove their majority in the house. If they couldn’t then the governor can dissolve the assembly and order fresh elections in the state. post the election of the state legislative assembly, the governor also gives a welcome speech in the first session of the newly formed government.

Further, in the legislature powers, The governor also has the power to promulgate ordinances on the subjects of the state list and concurrent list of the schedule 7 of the constitution when either the Legislative Assembly or Council (Unicameral/Bicameral) is not in the session. However, the maximum possible validity of such a law is only 6 months and only six weeks after the commencement of the legislative assembly session. After that ordinance either remains in the form of an act after it gets passed by the state legislature or it becomes null and void.
Apart from this, any bill passed by the state legislature becomes an act only after getting the governor’s assent. Any Bill(excluding the money bill) after being passed in the state legislature comes to the president, and then 4 scenarios are possible.

  • The governor gives his accent to the bill and makes it an act.
  • Suspension veto: In case he is not happy with the bill, he can suggest some changes and send it back to the state legislature for reconsideration.
  • Pocket veto: The governor can hold the bill for an infinite time during the pleasure of his office.
  • Governor can send the bill to the president for taking a word of advice from him.

Executive Powers

The governor is the nominal head of the executive. Any work of the state government is done formally in his name. After the state election results, the governor appoints the chief minister of the state, and then the other council of ministers on the advice of the chief minister.
Apart from these, the Governor appoints the AG – Advocate General of the State. AG is the chief law officer of the government in the state. The duty of the Advocate General is to give advice to the Government of the State upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the Governor.
Apart from this, the governor also appoints the

  • State election commissioner
  • 1/6th member of Legislative Council
  • Appoints the Judges below High Court Level
  • Chairman and other members of the State Public Service Commission
  • Vice-chancellors of the universities in the state

Judicial Powers

The governor appoints the judges of the district and subordinate courts of the states.
And the President consults the Governor of the concerned state while making appointments to the judges of the State High Court.

He has the below-pardoning powers against any offenses to which state power extends, except in the case of Death Sentence.

  • Pardon – complete absolve the offender
  • Reprieve – stay on the execution of the sentence
  • Respite – giving relief in punishment in some special circumstances
  • Remission – reduction of the sentence without changing the character of it
  • Commutation – substitution of one form of punishment for other

Financial Powers

The governor lays the annual financial statement (state budget) before the state legislative assembly. The governor can get this work done through someone else like the Finance minister of the State.
Apart from this, the governor has the access to the constituency fund of the state. Money from the contingency fund can be withdrawn after his recommendation for meeting the unforeseen expenditures or in any emergency situation.
He also constitutes the state’s finance commission.
Governor’s recommendation is a prerequisite for the introduction of a money bill in the state legislature a money bill can only be introduced in a state legislature on the prior recommendation of the state governor. This bill cannot be introduced in the parliament without his recommendation.

Emergency Powers

He can recommend the imposition of a constitutional emergency in a state to the President. He can do so either if he feels that the legislative machinery of that state has failed or in the case of premature dissolution of the legislative assembly of the state. During the period of the President’s rule in a state, the governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the President.

You may refer to this video if you want the explanation in Hindi

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