Articles 153 to 167 in Part VI of the Constitution deal with the state executive. The state executive consists of the governor, the chief minister, the council of ministers and the advocate general of the state.
The governor is appointed by the president of India. The governor is the chief executive head of the state.The governor also acts as an agent of the central government. Therefore, the office of governor has a dual role.
∑ He should be a citizen of India.
∑ He should have completed the age of 35 years.
∑ He must not hold any office of profit.
∑ He should not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the state legislature. If any such person is appointed as governor, he is deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as the governor.
∑ He should not hold any other office of profit.
∑ He is entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residence (the Raj Bhavan).
∑ He is entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament.
∑ When the same person is appointed as the governor of two or more states, the emoluments and allowances payable to him are shared by the states in such proportion as determined by the president.
∑ His emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished during his term of office.
Oath: The oath of office to the governor is administered by the chief justice of the concerned state high court and in his absence, the senior-most judge of that court available.
Term: A governor holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office. However, this term of five years is subject to the pleasure of the President. Further, he can resign at any time by addressing a resignation letter to the President. The Constitution does not lay down any grounds upon which a governor may be removed by the President.
Note: The normal tenure of a governor is five years.
1. All executive actions of the government of a state are formally taken in his name.
2. He appoints the chief minister and other ministers. They also hold office during his pleasure.
3. He appoints the advocate general of a state and determines his remuneration. The advocate general holds office during the pleasure of the governor.
4. He appoints the state election commissioner and determines his conditions of service and tenure of office. However, the state election commissioner can be removed only in like manner and on like grounds as a judge of a high court.
5. He appoints the chairman and members of the state public service commission. However, they can be removed only by the President and not by a governor.
6. He can recommend the imposition of constitutional emergency in a state to the president. During the period of Presidentís rule in a state, the governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the President.
7. He acts as the chancellor of universities in the state. He also appoints the vice-chancellors of universities in the state.
1. He can summon or prorogue the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assembly.
2. He can address the state legislature at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year.
3. He can appoint any member of the State legislative assembly to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can appoint any member of the state legislature council to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both Chairman and Deputy Chairman fall vacant.
4. He nominates one-sixth of the members of the state legislative council from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
5. He can nominate one member to the state legislature assembly from the Anglo-Indian Community.
When a bill is sent to the
governor after it is passed by state legislature, he can:
Give his assent to the bill, or Withhold his assent to the bill, or Return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. However, if the bill is passed again by the state legislature with or without amendments, the governor has to give his assent to the bill, or reserve the bill for the consideration of the president.
7. He can promulgate ordinances when the state legislature is not in session.
8. He lays the reports of the State Finance Commission, the State Public Service Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor-General relating to the accounts of the state, before the state legislature.
1. He makes the state budget to be laid before the state legislature.
2. Money bills can be introduced in the state legislature only with his prior recommendation.
3. No demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.
4. He can make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the state to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
5. He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to review the financial position of the Panchayats and the municipalities.
1. He can grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishments or suspend, remit and commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends.
2. He is consulted by the President while appointing the judges of the concerned state high court.
3. He makes appointments, postings and promotions of the district judges in consultation with the state high court.
4. He also appoints persons to the judicial service of the state (other than district judges) in consultation with the state high court and the State Public Service Commission.
Governors of states
Executive power of state
Appointment of Governor
Term of office of Governor
Qualifications for appointment as Governor
Conditions of Governorís office
Oath or affirmation by the Governor
Discharge of the functions of the Governor in certain contingencies
Power of the Governor to grant pardons and others
Extent of executive power of state
Council of ministers to aid and advise the Governor
Other provisions as to ministers like appointments, term, salaries, and others
Advocate-General for the state
Conduct of business of the government of a state
Duties of the Chief Minister regarding furnishing of information to the Governor, and so on
Sessions of the state legislature, prorogation and dissolution
Right of the Governor to address and send messages to the house or houses of state legislature
Special address by the Governor
Assent to bills (i.e. assent of the Governor to the bills passed by the state legislature)
Bills reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President
Power of Governor to promulgate ordinances
Governor being consulted by the President in the matter of the appointments of the judges of the High Courts
Appointment of district judges by the Governor
Appointments of persons (other than district judges) to the judicial service of the state by the Governor.
In the state government the chief minister is real executive (de facto) authority, he is called as head of the government. Thus the position of the Chief Minister at the state level is analogous to the position of prime minister at the Centre.
Appointment: Article 164 only says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor. However, this does not imply that the governor is free to appoint any one as the Chief Minister. In accordance with the convections of the parliamentary system of government, the governor has to appoint the leader of the majority party in the state legislative assembly as the Chief Minister. On the death of a Chief Minister, the ruling party usually elects a new leader and the governor has no choice but to appoint him as Chief Minister. A person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months, within which time, he should be elected to the state legislature, failing which he ceases to be the Chief Minister
The governor administers to him the oaths of office and secrecy. The term of the Chief Minister is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the governor. However, this does not mean that the governor can dismiss him at any time. He cannot be dismissed by the governor as long as he enjoys the majority support in the legislative assembly. The salary and allowances of the Chief Minister are determined by the state legislature.
1. The governor appoints only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Chief Minister.
2. He allocates and reshuffles the portfolios among ministers.
3. He can ask a minister to resign or advise the governor to dismiss him in case of difference of opinion.
4. He presides over the meetings of the council of ministers and influences its decisions.
5. He guides, directs, controls and coordinates the activities of all the ministers.
6. He can bring about the collapse of the council of ministers by resigning from office.
7. He is the principal channel of communication between the governor and the council of ministers.
8. He advises the governor with regard to the appointment of important officials like advocate general, chairman and members of the state public service commission, state election commissioner, and so on.
9. He advises the governor with regard to the summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the state legislature.
10. He can recommend the dissolution of the legislative assembly to the governor at any time.
11. He announces the government policies on the floor of the house.
Article 163: There shall
be a council of ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advice
the governor on the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is
required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
(a) The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor and other ministers shall be appointed by the governor on the advice of the Chief Minister;
(b) The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor; and
(c) The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state.
Article 167: It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister:
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;
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
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.
The council of ministers in the states is constituted and function in the same way as the council of ministers at the Centre.
1. There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advice the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is required to exercise his functions in his discretion.
2. If any question arises whether a matter falls within the Governorís discretion or not, decision of the Governor shall be final.
3. The advice tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court.
1. The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
The total number of
ministers, including the chief minister, in the council of ministers in a
state shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total strength of the legislative assembly of that state.
3. The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
4. The Governor shall administer the oaths of office and secrecy to a minister.
5. The salaries and allowances of ministers shall be determined by the state legislature.
1. All executive action of the Government of a State shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor.
2. The Governor shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the government of the state
It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister of each state
1. 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.
2. To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the state in case governor may request.
3. 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.
†The chief minister is appointed by the governor. The other ministers are appointed by the governor on the advice of the chief minister. This means that the governor can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the chief minister. The members of the state legislature, either the legislative assembly or the legislative council, are appointed as ministers.
The governor administers to him the oaths of office and secrecy.
The salaries and allowances of ministers are determined by the state legislature from time to time.
Article 164 clearly states that the council of ministers is collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state. This means that all the ministers own joint responsibility to the legislative assembly for all their acts of omission and commission. The principle of collective responsibility also means that the cabinet decisions bind all cabinet ministers (and other ministers) even if they deferred in the cabinet meeting. It is the duty of every minister to stand by the cabinet decisions and support them both within and outside the state legislature.
A minister holds office during the pleasure of the governor. This means that the governor can remove a minister at a time when the council of ministers enjoys the confidence of the legislative assembly. But, the governor can remove a minister only on the advice of the chief minister.
In case of difference of opinion or dissatisfaction with the performance of a minister, the chief minister can ask him to resign or advice the governor to dismiss him.
A smaller body called cabinet is the nucleus of the council of ministers. It consists of only the cabinet ministers. It is the real centre of authority in the state government. It performs the following role:
1. It is the highest decision making authority in the politico-administrative system of a state.
2. It is the chief policy formulating body of the state government.
3. It is the supreme executive authority of the state government.
4. It is the chief coordinator of state administration.
5. It is an advisory body to the governor.
6. It is the chief crisis manager and thus deals with all emergency situations.
7. It deals with all major legislative and financial matters.
8. It exercises control over higher appointments like constitutional authorities and senior secretariat administrators.
Articles 168 to 212 in Part VI of the Constitution deal with the organisation, composition, duration, offices, procedures, privileges, powers and so on of the state legislature.
Organisation of state legislature: There is no uniformity
in the organisation of state legislatures. Most of the states have unicameral
system, while others have a bicameral system. At present (2009), only six
states have two Houses (bicameral). These are Andhra Pradesh, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir.
In the states having bicameral system, the state legislature consists of the governor, the legislative council and the legislative assembly. The Constitution provides for the abolition or creation of legislative councils in states. Accordingly, the Parliament can abolish a legislative council or create it, if the legislative assembly of the concerned state passes a resolution to that effect.
Such a specific resolution must be passed by the state assembly by a special majority, that is, a majority of the total membership of the assembly and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the assembly present and voting.
State Legislature Ė Strength:† The legislative assembly consists of representatives directly elected by the people on the basis of universal adult franchise. Maximum number is fixed at 500 Minimum number is at 60.
Nominated members: The governor can nominate one member from the Anglo-Indian community.
Territorial Constituencies: For the purpose of holding direct elections to the assembly, each state is divided into territorial constituencies. The demarcation of these constituencies is done in such a manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it is the same throughout the state.
Reservation of seats for SCs and STs: The Constitution provided for the reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the assembly of each state on the basis of population ratios.
Duration of Assembly: the legislative assembly is not a continuing chamber. Its normal term is five years from the date of its first meeting after the general elections. The governor is authorised to dissolve the assembly at any time (i.e., even before the completion of five years) to pave the way for fresh elections. It can be extended during national emergency for a period of 1 year at a time.
∑ He must be a citizen of India.
∑ He must be not less than 30 years of age in the case of the legislative council and not less than 25 years of age in the case of the legislative assembly.
A person to be elected to
the legislative assembly must be an elector for an assembly
constituency in the concerned state.
∑ If he holds any office of profit under the Union or state government (except that of a minister or any other office exempted by state legislature)
∑ If he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a court
∑ If he is an un discharged insolvent
∑ If he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance to a foreign state.
∑ If he is so disqualified under any law made by Parliament.
Double Membership: A person
cannot be a member of both Houses of state legislature at one and the same
time. If a person is elected to both the Houses, his seat in one of the Houses
falls vacant as per the provisions of a law made by the state legislature.
Disqualification: If a member of the state legislature becomes subject to any of the disqualifications, his seat becomes vacant.
Resignation: A member may resign his seat by writing to the Chairman of legislative council or Speaker of legislative assembly, as the case may be. The seat falls vacant when the resignation is accepted11.
Absence: A House of the state legislature can declare the seat of a member vacant if he absents himself from all its meeting for a period of sixty days without its permission.
Other Cases: A member has to vacate his seat in the either House of state legislature,
(i) If his election is declared void by the court,
(ii) If he is expelled by the House,
(iii) If he is elected to the office of president or office of vice-president, and
(iv) If he is appointed to the office of governor of a state.
Strength: The members of the legislative council are indirectly elected. The maximum strength of the council is fixed at one-third of the total strength of the assembly and the minimum strength is fixed at 40. It means that the size of the council depends on the size of the assembly of the concerned state.
1. 1/3 are elected by the members of local bodies in the state like municipalities, district boards, etc.,
2. 1/12 are elected by graduates of three years standing and residing within the state,
3. 1/12 are elected by teachers of three years standing in the state, not lower in standard than secondary school,
4. 1/3 are elected by the members of the legislative assembly of the state from amongst persons who are not members of the assembly, and
5. The remaining are nominated by the governor from amongst persons who have a special knowledge or practical experience of literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
6. 5/6 of the total number of members of a legislative council is indirectly elected and 1/6 is nominated by the governor.
The members are elected in accordance with the system of
representation by means of a single transferable vote. Parliament is authorised to modify the composition of elections.
Like the Rajya Sabha, the legislative council is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. But, one-third of its members retire on the expiration of every second year. So, a member continues in office for six years.
Qualification: A person to be elected to the legislative council must be an elector for an assembly constituency in the concerned state and to be qualified for the governorís nomination, he must be a resident in the concerned state.
All the remaining provisions (Qualification, Disqualification, Oath or Affirmation and vacation of seat) are same as member of legislative assembly.
Speaker: The position of speaker of State legislature is equal to speaker of LokSabha. The Speaker is elected by the assembly itself from amongst its members. The Speaker remains in office during the life of the assembly.
Powers of Speaker:
1. He maintains order and decorum in the assembly for conducting
its business and regulating its proceedings. This is his primary responsibility
and he has final power in this regard.
2. He is the final interpreter of the provisions of
(a) The Constitution of India,
(b) The rules of procedure and conduct of business of assembly, and
(c) The legislative precedents, within the assembly.
3. He adjourns the assembly or suspends the meeting in the absence
of a quorum.
4. He does not vote in the first instance. But, he can exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.
5. He can allow a Ďsecretí sitting of the House at the request of
the leader of the House.
6. He decides whether a bill is a Money Bill or not and his decision on this question is final.
7. He decides the questions of disqualification of a member of the assembly, arising on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.
8. He appoints the chairmen of all the committees of the assembly and supervises their functioning. He himself is the chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, the Rules Committee and the General Purpose Committee.
The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speakerís office when it is vacant. He also acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of assembly. His Powers are similar to that of Speaker. The Deputy Speaker is also elected by the assembly itself from amongst its members. He is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place. When he is not acting as presiding officer, he will be participating in the proceedings of the house.
Deputy Chairman is also elected by the council itself from amongst
members. The powers and functions of the Chairman in the council are similar to those of the Speaker in the assembly. Chairman of Legislative council has no authority to decide whether a bill is a money bill or not because with regard to money bill it should be passed only in Legislative assembly but not in Legislative council. Legislative can only discuss the money bill.
The salaries and allowances of the Chairman is also fixed by the
legislature and are charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State, which is not subject to voting.
The Deputy Chairman performs the duties of the Speakerís office when it is vacant. He also acts as the Chairman when the latter is absent from the sitting of assembly. His Powers are similar to that of Chairman. The Deputy Chairman is also elected by the assembly itself from amongst its members. He is elected after the election of the chairman has taken place. When he is not acting as presiding officer, he will be participating in the proceedings of the house.
1. If he ceases to be a member of the assembly
2. If he resigns by writing to the deputy speaker,
3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then members of the assembly. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days advance notice.
The governor from time to time summons each House of state legislature to meet. The maximum gap between the two sessions of state legislature cannot be more than six months, i.e., the state legislature should meet at least twice a year
An adjournment suspends the work in a sitting for a specified time which may be hours, days or weeks.
Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of the state legislature for an indefinite period. The power of the adjournment as well as adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
The presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) declares the House adjourned sine die, when the business of the session is completed. Within the next few days, the governor issues a notification for prorogation of the session. However, the governor can also prorogue the House which is in session. Unlike an adjournment, a prorogation terminates a session of the House.
The legislative council, being a permanent house, is not subject to dissolution. Only the legislative assembly is subject to dissolution.
The position with respect
to lapsing of bills on the dissolution of the assembly is mentioned below:
A Bill pending in the assembly lapses (whether originating in the assembly or transmitted to it by the council).
2. A Bill passed by the assembly but pending in the council lapses.
3. A Bill pending in the council but not passed by the assembly does not lapse.
4. A Bill passed by the assembly (in a unicameral state) or passed by both the houses (in a bicameral state) but pending assent of the governor or the President does not lapse.
5. A Bill passed by the assembly (in a unicameral state) or passed by both the Houses (in a bicameral state) but returned by the president for reconsideration of House (s) does not lapse.
Quorum is the minimum number of members required to be present in the House before it can transact any business. It is ten members or one-tenth of the total number of members of the House (including the presiding officer), whichever is greater.
In addition to the members of a House, every minister and the advocate general of the state have the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of either House or any of its committees of which he is named a member, without being entitled to vote. There are two reasons underlying this constitutional provision:
1. A minister can participate in the proceedings of a House, of which he is not a member.
2. A minister, who is not a member of either House, can participate in the proceedings of both the Houses.
Ordinary Bills: An ordinary bill can originate in either House of the state legislature. Such a bill can be introduced either by a minister or by any other member. The bill passes through three stages, viz. first reading, second reading and third reading. After the bill is passed by the originating House, it is transmitted to the second House for consideration and passage. A bill is deemed to have been passed by the state legislature only when both the Houses have agreed to it. In case of a unicameral legislature, a bill passed by the legislative assembly is sent directly to the governor for his assent.
Assent of the Governor: Every bill, after it is passed by the assembly or by both the Houses in case of a bicameral legislature, is presented to the governor for his assent. There are four alternatives before the governor:
∑ He may give his assent to the bill;
∑ He may withhold his assent to the bill;
∑ He may return the bill for reconsideration of the House or Houses; and
∑ He may reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.
Assent of the President: When a bill is reserved by the governor for the consideration of the President, the President may either give his assent to the bill or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill for reconsideration of the state legislature. When a bill is so returned, the House or Houses have to reconsider it within a period of six months. The bill is presented again to the presidential assent after it is passed by the House or Houses with or without amendments.
The Constitution lays down a special procedure for the passing of Money Bills in the state legislature. This is as follows:
∑ A Money Bill cannot be introduced in the legislative council. It can be introduced in the legislative assembly only and that too on the recommendation of the governor. Every such bill is considered to be a government bill and can be introduced only by a minister.
∑ After a Money Bill is passed by the legislative assembly, it is transmitted to the legislative council for its consideration. The legislative council has restricted powers with regard to a Money Bill.
∑ It cannot reject or amend a Money Bill. It can only make recommendations and must return the bill to the legislative assembly within 14 days. If the legislative council does not return the bill to the legislative assembly within 14 days, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses at the expiry of the said period in the form originally passed by the legislative assembly.
∑ †Finally, when a Money Bill is presented to the governor, he normally gives his assent to it as it is introduced in the state legislature with his prior permission.