“Powers and Privileges of the Governor”


The head of the State is called the Governor, he is the Constitutional head of the State as the President is for the whole of India. The Governor is usually an elderly Statesman who can discharge his pre-functionary duties with dignity and who is on position to exercise what Gandhi called an “all pervading model influence”. The Governor of a State has a dual role to play –As the Constitutional head of the State and as the agent or representative of the Centre. The Governor has following powers, namely, the executive, financial, legislative and Judicial.


  1. Executive Powers:
  • The executive power of the State is vested in the Governor and is said to be exercised by him directly or through officers subordinate to him. (Art.154)
  • According to Article 162, the executive powers of a State extends to the matters with respect to which the Legislature of the State has powers to make laws.
  • All executive actions of the Government of the State shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor.
  • Orders and instruments, made and executed in the name of the Governor, shall be authenticated in the manner specified in the rules made by the Governor.
  • The validity of an order of instrument which is so authenticated shall not be called in question [Art 166 (1) & (2)], however, the provisions in this regard are directory and not mandatory.
  • Under Article 166 (3), the Governor is authorized to make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of the State and for its allocation among ministries.

Ram Jawaya Kapur vs. State of Punjab[1], The Supreme Court held that our Constitution has adopted the British system of Parliamentary form of Government and the basic principle of this type of Government is that the President and governors are Constitutional heads and the real executive powers are vested in the Council of Ministers.




  1. Financial Powers:
  • A money bill cannot be introduced in the Legislative assembly of the State without the recommendation of Governor.
  • No demand of grants can be made except or recommendation of the Governor. [Art. 203 (3)]
  • The Governor is required to cause to be laid before the House or Houses of the Legislature ‘annual financial statements’ known as budget. (Art. 202)


  1. Legislative Powers:
  • The Governor summons the Houses or each House of the legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit. However, six months must not lapse between the last sitting in one session and first sitting in session.
  • The Governor appoints Ministers and they hold office during his pleasure. (Art. 164)
  • He has a right of opening address, of addressing and sending messages to and of summoning, proroguing the House or either house and dissolve the Legislative Assembly. [Art. 174-176]
  • No bill can become law without the assent of the Governor.
  • He has right to reserve certain bills for assent of the President. (Art. 200)
  • He nominates one sixth member of the Legislative Council. (Art. 171)


The most important Legislative Power of the Governor is his ordinance making power. His ordinance making power is similar to that of the President. Under Article 213, whenever the Legislature is not in session and if the Governor is satisfied that circumstances exists which require him to take immediate action he may legislate by ordinance. The Court cannot question the validity of the Ordinance.


  1. Pardoning Power:

Article 161 says that the Governor shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to which the executive power of the State extends.




Privileges of the Governor

The privileges of a Governor, laid down in Article 361, are mainly four, as under:

  1. He is not answerable to any Court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done (or purporting to be done) by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties.
  2. No criminal proceedings whatsoever can be instituted or continued against the Governor of a State in any Court during the term of office.
  3. No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the Governor of a State can issue from any Court during his term of office.
  4. No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the Governor of a State, can be instituted during his term of office in any Court.



  • Jhabvala H. Noshirvan, THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, C. Jamnadas &Co., 17th Edition, 1990.
  • AIR 1955 SC 549


[1] AIR 1955 SC 549


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