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.
176. Special address by the Governor.—(1) At the commencement of *[the first session after each general election to the Legislative Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year], the Governor shall address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, both Houses assembled together and inform the Legislature of the causes of its summons.
(2) Provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of the House or either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in such address **[***].
The Governor’s address to State Legislature under article 176, like the President’s address to Parliament under article 87, is prepared by the Cabinet. Each House has to provide (in its Rules) time for discussing the Governor’s address. Before the First Constitution Amendment, Governor was required to address the Legislature at the beginning of each session. Now, he is required to address at the first session after the general election to Lok Sabha and at the first session each year.
The difference in the language of articles 175 and 176 is intended to serve different purposes. Under article 175 the Governor has the option to send a message or to decide to address the House and summon it (or the two Houses) to listen to his address. He has no such choice under article 176 where he has got to address the House or Houses assembled together at the beginning of the first session each year and at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the Legislative Assembly of the State and inform the Legislature of the causes of its summons.