Constitution of India

Article -167 Duties of Chief Minister as respects the furnishing of information to Governor, etc.

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.


167. Duties of Chief Minister as respects the furnishing of information to Governor, etc.—It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister of each State—

(a) to communicate to the Governor of the State all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation;

(b) to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for; and

(c) if the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council.

Article 167 casts on the Chief Minister the duty to keep the Governor informed of all decisions of the Council of Ministers in regard to administration and legislation. He is required to furnish to the Governor all such information in these matters as may be called for by him. Also, if a decision has been taken only by a Minister and the Governor so desires, it may be placed before the Council of Ministers for consideration. Article 167 corresponds to article 78 in respect of the duty of the Prime Minister to keep the President similarly informed.

Article 167 has to be read with articles 154, 163(1), 164(2) and 166(1). Since the executive power of the State vests in the Governor (article 154(1)) and all executive action is taken in the name of the Governor (article 166(1)), it is only proper that the Governor should be kept informed of all decisions relating to administration. Every legislative proposal after being passed by the House/s of State Legislature must receive the Governor’s assent before it becomes law. The Governor, therefore, must have all the right to be kept informed of the decisions in regard to proposed legislation. The Governor has to function on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and not of a single Minister (article 163(1)). It follows that the Governor is not bound to accept the advice of a Minister (or Chief Minister) and can ask that the matter be placed before the whole Council of Ministers. Also under article 164(2) the responsibility of the Council of Ministers to the Legislative Assembly is collective and, therefore, if any important decision is taken by a Minister without the matter being considered by the Council of Ministers, the Governor may ask for a reference to the Council of Ministers under article 167(c). If the Council confirms the decision of the Minister, the Governor cannot veto it. As the Sarkaria Commission said, article 167 confers on the Governor “persuasive and not dictatorial powers to override or veto the decisions or proposals of his Council of Ministers”.

The Chief Minister is under a duty to communicate all the decisions of the Council of Ministers to the Governor, but article 167 of the Constitution talks of the duty of the Chief Minister and not his rights. The object of the article is to ensure that the Chief Minister does not give effect to the decisions of the Council of Ministers without reference to the Governor and it is for that purpose a duty is enjoined by that provision on the Chief Minister to communicate all the decisions of the Council of Ministers to the Governor. It is not right that the Chief Minister alone has got the right to communicate the decision of the Council of Ministers, but if the Chief Minister is not in a position to perform the said duty (on account of illness etc.) the same can be performed by the Minister to whom his functions stand delegated.

Since the Chief Minister draws his salary from the Government treasury, as long as he holds his office on account of public service that he discharges, he is a public servant.

Source: Dr Subhash C Kashyap, Constitutional Law of India

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