Governors of India

Governors of India | Detailed GK Notes

Governors of India

Term – 5 years
Appointed by – President of India
Qualification – Indian Citizen, 35 Years Old
Salary of Governor₹3,50,000+ Fixed Allowances by the States

The Indian Constitution of 1949 states that there should be a Governor for every State and Union territories in India. Governors of India are appointed by the President of India. They are the titular executive head of all the 28 states and 8 union territories.

Governors of the union territories are known as the 'Lieutenant Governor / Chief Commissioner / Administrator' because UTs are directly under the President of India who in turn appoints an administrator to govern them under his aegis.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, and Puducherry, this official is called 'Lieutenant Governor', while in Chandigarh, Dadra-Nagar Haveli, Daman-Diu and Lakshadweep, they are called 'Administrator.'

Articles Pertaining to the Governor in the Indian Constitution

Part VI of the Indian Constitution deals with the States. Under Part VI, Chapter I & II Articles 153-162 of the Indian Constitution provides for the Governor of the States. (Chapter I is for State definition and Chapter II deals with the Governors)
  • Article 153
    • There shall be a Governor for each State.
    • The same person cannot be appointed as the Governor for two or more States.
  • Article 154Executive Powers
  • Article 155Appointment
  • Article 156Term of Office
  • Article 157Qualifications
  • Article 158Conditions
    • He/She shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State.
    • He/She shall not hold any other office of profit.
  • Article 159Oath By the Governor
  • Article 160Discharge of the functions of the Governor in certain contingencies.
  • Article 161Power of Governor to grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
    • Cannot pardon a death sentence.
  • Article 162Extent of Executive Powers of States.
  • Article 164Power to appoint Chief Minister and council of Ministers for the State.
  • Article 165Power to appoint the Advocate General for the State.
  • Article 166States all executive action of the Government of a State shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor.
  • Article 174Allows Governor to dissolve the Legislative Assembly.
  • Article 175 Right to address and send messages to the House.
  • Article 176 Special address to the House by the Governor.
  • Article 192 Allows the Governor to disqualify a member of the legislative assembly under the recommendation of the state election commission.
  • Article 193deals with the discretionary power of the Governor. Unlike the President, the Governor has absolute power and his decision is final.
  • Article 200Assent to Bills: withholds assent, or reserves bills presented by the House.
  • Article 202Annual financial statements relating to estimates and expenditures.
  • Article 213Power of Governor to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Legislature.
  • Article 217Power to appoint High Court Judge for the State.
  • Article 353During an emergency, the governor can assert his power through Article 193 overriding the state legislative assembly.
  • Article 361deals with the protection of President and Governors and Rajpramukhs.

Appointments made By the Governor

  • Advocate General of the State
  • Chief Minister & Council of Ministers of the State
  • Judges of High Court & District Courts
  • Chairman and Members of the State Public Service Commission
  • State Election Commissioner

Powers of The Governor

The power of the Governor can be broadly classified into
  1. Executive Powers: The Chief Minister of the state keeps the Governor informed on all matters pertaining to the state and about the council of ministers. He and his ministers can advise the Governor on important matters according to Article 163(3) of the Constitution but Article 193 clearly states that even though he can take the advice into consideration, the power of decision making vested in him is absolute.
  2. Financial Powers: No money bill or other financial aids can be presented in the legislative assemblies without the advice/recommendation by the Governor. It is quite similar to the power of the President. The report from the Auditor General containing the income and expenditure of the state is presented to the Governor annually.
  3. Legislative Powers: The Governor can summon and dissolve the state legislative assemblies. Another power the Governor exercises is that if a bill is passed by the state legislative assembly, it can't become an Act until he/she gives his/her consent.
  4. Judicial Powers: The Governor can exercise this power through Article 161 & 192. Appointment on High Court Chief Justice and other judges of the state on the advice of the President is done by the Governor.
  5. Discretionary Powers:
    • Can impose President's Rule.
    • Can present his own report to the President of India directly on the internal affairs of the state.
    • Can withhold his consent to a bill and send it directly to the President for approval/dismissal.
    • When a Hung Parliament occurs, the governor can choose a suitable candidate who can form a majority coalition as Chief Minister.

During his term of office, he/she is entitled to the various allowances, emoluments, and privileges which are determined by Parliament by law (as mentioned under the II schedule) and it can't be revoked.


Usually, Governors can serve until the expiration of his term, but under Article 160, they can be terminated earlier if:
  • The term of Governor can be dismissed by the President, at whose pleasure he/shes holds the office. It means President on the advice Prime Minister can dismiss the Governor.
  • The Governor may himself apply for resignation, by writing directly to the President.

Dismissal of Governors so far

The first such incident happened in 1977, for the first time when a non-congress government, Janata Govt. came into power. Many such dismissals happened in the Indian history and most of times, it was due to political rivalries. The timeline of such incidents so far is as following:
  • 1977Janata Govt dismissed 15 governors.
  • 1980Tamil Nadu Governor Prabhudas Patwari was dismissed
  • 1981Dismissal of Rajasthan Governor Raghukul Tilak
  • 1998Dismissal of Gujarat Governor Krishna Pal Singh by the BJP Govt.
  • 2001Tamil Nadu Governor M. Fathima Beevi was dismissed by NDA Govt.
  • 2004UPA Govt dismissed 4 Governors from the states Goa (Kidar Nath Sahni), Gujarat (Kailashpati Mishra), Haryana (Babu Parmanand) & UP (Vishnu Kant Shastri)
  • 2014Under the Modi Govt, Puducherry Governor Virendra Kataria & Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal was sacked.

The dismissal of Governor became regular happening every time when a new the government came into power. It was then the famous "B.P. Singhal VS Union of India (2010) case" (cause: the dismissal of 4 Governors in 2004) was filed in Supreme Court.

A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court under the recommendation of following commissions,

  • Sarkaria Commission (1988)
  • Venkatachaliah Commission (2002)
  • Punchhi Commission (2010)

that previously examined the issue laid down the rules that even though the dismissal can happen at the "Pleasure of the President" (on advice from the council of Ministers under Article 74) but that can't be done arbitrary, capricious or in an unreasonable manner and only in rare and exceptional circumstances.

The second clarification is that even if the ideology and political the stance of the Governor differs from the newly elected Govt. that is not sufficient reason for dismissal and if such dismissal happens, it can be challenged in the court of law.