Constitution of India

Article 175 :- Right of Governor to address and send messages to the House or Houses.

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.

175. Right of Governor to address and send messages to the House or Houses.—(1) The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, either House of the Legislature of the State, or both Houses assembled together, and may for that purpose require the attendance of members.

(2) The Governor may send messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the State, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient despatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration.

Corresponding to article 86, article 175 provides for the right of the Governor to address the House/s of State Legislature and to send messages to the House/s in regard to a Bill or any other matter. The Governor is within his rights to require the presence of members at his address and to expect early consideration of his message.

But the proceedings and procedure of the House are to be regulated by the Speaker/Presiding Officer. The Governor cannot constitute himself into a court of appeal over the acts of the Speaker or decisions of the House. The Constitution does not give to the Governor any authority to declare an act of the Speaker unconstitutional or to reverse the decision of the House on grounds of procedural irregularity etc.

By virtue of article 177, the Ministers even if they are not members of either house of Legislature of the State would be entitled to be present at a meeting of either or both houses of legislature assembled together at the time of address by Governor as contemplated by article 175.

Article 175(2) of the Constitution of India does not create any such special situation. One of the constitutional responsibilities of the Governor of a State is to summon an Assembly after he prorogues it. This is an event which must necessarily follow the initial prorogation and summoning in the peculiar circumstances is the responsibility of the Governor of the State. Where the Governor while convening the Assembly sends a message to the House prescribing the agenda, this has to be treated as a directive. No doubt, it is for the Speaker to preside over the sittings and transact the business but he cannot act contrary to the mandate issued by the Governor under article 175(2). It is the primordial duty of the Speaker as the holder of office under the Constitution to obey such a mandate and act in accordance with the itemised agenda therein.

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