Constitution of India

Article 166 – Conduct of Government Business 166. Conduct of business of the Government of a State.

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.

Conduct of Government Business
166. Conduct of business of the Government of a State.—(1) All executive action of the Government of a State shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor.

(2) Orders and other instruments made and executed in the name of the Governor shall be authenticated in such manner as may be specified in rules to be made by the Governor, and the validity of an order or instrument which is so authenticated shall not be called in question on the ground that it is not an order or instrument made or executed by the Governor.

(3) The Governor shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of the State, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business in so far as it is not business with respect to which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion.

The article, which purports to lay down the procedure regulating business transacted by the Government of a State, should be read as a whole. Under clause (3), the Governor is to make rules for the more convenient transaction of such business and for allocation of the same among the Ministers in so far as it does not relate to matters in regard to which the Governor is required to act in his discretion. It is in accordance with these rules that business has to be transacted. But whatever executive action is to be taken by way of an order or instrument, shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor in whom the executive power of the State is vested, and it shall further be authenticated in the manner specified in the rules framed by the Governor.
Statutory functions and duties vested in the State Government may be allocated to Ministers by the Rules of Business framed under article 166(3) of the Constitution.

Article 166 corresponds to article 77 at the Government of India level. Like the President, the Governor is a constitutional head except that there are certain specified functions he has to discharge in his discretion. All executive action is to be taken in the name of the Governor. The Governor may make rules for the more convenient transaction of business of the State and for allocation of work among the Ministers. A decision of the Council of Ministers does not become operative as a Government order unless expressed in the Governor’s name and duly authenticated in accordance with the rules made by the Governor. But mere non-compliance with the form of the order cannot invalidate it.

Source: Dr Subhash C Kashyap, Constitutional Law of India

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