The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next Article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.
153. Governors of States.—There shall be a Governor for each State:
Provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the appointment of the same person as Governor for two or more States.
There must always be a Governor under article 153. The Governor constitutes an integral part of the legislature of a State. He is vested with the legislative power to promulgate ordinances while the Houses of the legislature are not in session. The executive power of the State is vested in him and every executive action of the Government is taken in his name. He exercises the sovereign power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment. He is vested with the power to summon each House of the Legislature or to prorogue either House or to dissolve the legislative assembly. No Bill passed by the Houses of the Legislature can become law unless it is assented to by him. He has to make a report where he finds that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution. He thus occupies a high constitutional office with important constitutional functions and duties. It is thus evident that a Governor has a dual role. The first is that of a constitutional Head of the State, bound by the advice of his Council of Ministers. The second is to function as a vital link between the Union Government and the State Government. In certain special/emergent situations, he may also act as a special representative of the Union Government. He is required to discharge the functions related to his different roles harmoniously, assessing the scope and ambit of each role properly. He is not an employee of the Union Government, nor the agent of the party in power nor required to act under the dictates of political parties. There may be occasions when he may have to be an impartial or neutral Umpire where the views of the Union Government and State Government are in conflict. His peculiar position arises from the fact that the Indian Constitution is quasi-federal in character.
That ‘there shall be a Governor for each State’ clearly means that necessarily there has to be a Governor for each State at all times. If a vacancy occurs for whatsoever reason, immediate alternative arrangements have to be made. This is usually done by entrusting to the Governor of a neighbouring State additional charge of the State or by the Chief Justice of the State being asked to act as the Governor till a regular appointment of a Governor is made. The proviso to article 153 clarifies that ‘a Governor for each State’ does not preclude the possibility of there being one Governor for more than one States. The position is further strengthened by the proviso to article 156(3) whereunder “notwithstanding the expiration of his term” a Governor has to “continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.”
Source: Dr Subhash C Kashyap,
Constitutional Law of India (Universal)