HPAS Mains Syllabus General Studies Paper 1 : Polity and Governance
Question: A Governor should function in accordance with the constitutional mandate, not as an agent of the Centre. Discuss. (8 Marks, 120 words)
|Understanding of question: |
|Directive||Discuss: You should use your debating skill by carefully giving arguments both in favour and against the asked topic. Conclusion is must.|
|Introduction||Constitutional position of Governor or recent examples of misuse of power by Governor|
|Main Body||• Governor acting as agent of centre.|
• Governor should function in accordance with the constitution
|Conclusion||Balance solution to address tussle between Governor and Chief Minister|
Few months back, tensions between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar reached a flashpoint, after the CM’s accusation of the Governor over violating the constitutional powers. This conduct is comparable to the many actions of governors of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc., that led to unwarranted interference of centre in states’ politics. These states happen to be ruled by the political parties governed by the opposition parties at the centre.
A Governor possesses executive, legislative, financial and judicial powers more or less analogous to the president of India. However, he has no diplomatic, military or emergency powers like the President.
Governor: Acting as agent of Centre
Article 163 of Indian Constitution states that the Governor should exercise his functions based on the state’s Council of Ministers’ aid and advice, except it is required to exercise his functions at his discretion. Therefore, Article 163 acts as a source of the discretionary power of the governor. As the union government nominates the governor, the combined effect with Article 163 provides the scope centre meddling in the state’s affairs.
There is intervention from the side of Governor on various issues like: (a) Determining the timing for proving legislative majority; (b) Giving assent to bills or reserving bills for the President; (c) Frequent use of Article 356 for removing state governments run by opposition parties based on the Governor’s recommendation.
The encroachment upon the legislature’s powers and the elected government amounts to an abuse of Governor’s authority as a nominal head under the Constitution. This tussle damage India’s essential federal structure and the democratic process.
Constitutional Role of Governor:
The Governor’s role is not merely an agent of the centre sitting in state capitals; he is the lynchpin of India’s federalism and democracy at the state’s level. Therefore, the governor’s role is indispensable for the successful working of constitutional democracy, and he must withhold the virtue of impartiality. The Supreme Court has ruled that the office of the Governor is not subordinate to the central government and is an independent constitutional office.
To enable the Governor to Successfully discharge his functions under the constitution, an agreed ‘Code of Conduct’ approved by the state governments, the central government, the parliament, and the state legislatures should be evolved. ‘Code of Conduct’ should lay down certain ‘norms and principles’ which should guide the exercise of the Governor’s ‘discretion’ and his powers which he is entitled to use and exercise on his personal judgment.
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