What are the powers and function of the Governor of a State?

While the executive power of the Union is vested in the President that of state is vested in a Governor. But in practice executive powers are exercised by the Council of Ministers headed by Chief Minister.

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The Governor is appointed by the President. Actually he is the nominee of the Central cabinet. In fact, this is political post & the Prime Minister and the other members of the Cabinet would like to have men of their confidence on such key posts. Normally retired & defeated politicians appointed to these posts. The Governor according to the constitution will hold office during the pleasure of the President. Subject to this provision his tenure will be live years. He may be dismissed by the president before the expiry of his term.



He gets a salary of Rs. 110, 000/- per month. In addition to that he gets allowances. He is given a rent free residence usually named Raj Bhawan. The salary & allowances of the Governor charged from the Consolidation Fund of the state are not subject to the vote of the State Legislature. Parliament may be law changed the allowances of pay but the same cannot be decreased during his tenure. If any other individual acts as a Governor in his absence he also will be entitled to pay allowances and other privileges of the Governor.


1) S/he should be a citizen of India.


2) S/he should not be less than 35 years of age.

3) S/he must not hold any office of profit.

4) S/he cannot remain a member either or parliament or a State Legislative. If such a member is appointed to the post of Governor his seat in the legislature concerned will fall vacant as & when he takes over the charge as a Governor.

5) S/he must possess the qualification for membership of the State Legislature.



The Governor is appointed for the period of five years. The president has the right to extend the term also.


According to Article 361 the Governor is answerable to any Court for the exercise & performance of the powers &duties of his office for any act done by him in the exercise of his official duties. No criminal proceedings can be instituted or continued against the Governor of the state in any Court during this term of office. Nor any process for the arrest & imprisonment of the Governor shall be issued from any Court during his term of office. Civil proceedings against the Governor can be constituted in any Court in respect of any act done in his personal capacity during his term of office.


Executive Powers

The Governor is the head of the state. All the executive powers of the state are vested in him. He exercises the powers connected with the subjects mentioned in the State List & the Concurrent list either directly or through officers subordinate to him. All the laws are executed in his name & he is responsible for the maintenance of peace & order in the State. All the important officials of the states are appointed by the Governor & all the employees of the state work under him. He appoints Chief Minister & all other Ministers with the approval of the Chief Minister. Besides this, the Governor appoints the State Advocate General, Chairman & Members of the P.S.C. & Vice-Chancellors of the different Universities of Orissa. According to Article-167 it is the duty of the Chief Minister of the state to communicate to the Governor of the state all decisions of the Council of the Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the state & proposal for legislation as the Governor may call for & 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 Governor sends his report to the President regarding the failure of the possibility of a failure of this constitutional machinery of a state. When the President makes a proclamation of emergency for the state under Article 356 of the constitution, the Governor acts as the agent of central govt.

Legislative Powers

The Governor exercises many Legislative Powers (i) He is a part of the state Legislature. He convenes the session of the State Legislature. He can increase the duration of the session as well as he can adjourn the session before time. The Governor can dissolve the Legislative Assembly & can order fresh election. He can address both the chambers of the state legislature independently or collectively. The first session after the General Election and the first session of the New Year start with the inaugural address of the Governor. In his inaugural address the Governor places before the legislature the policy of the Government for the year. He also invites attention of the legislature towards the problem facing the state. He nominates 1/6 members of the Legislative Council & members to the Legislative Assembly from the Anglo-Indian community if he feels that the Anglo-Indian community has not got adequate representation in the chamber. He can send massages to the legislature from time to time. No Bill passed by the Legislature can become an Act with the assent of the Governor. He can reject an ordinary Bill & can reserve certain types of Bills for the approval of the President of India. He can issue ordinances when the Legislative Assembly is not in session but there is the exigency of law to meet the situation. This is done on the advice of the Council of Ministers. The ordinances have the force of laws but they must be approved by the legislature within a period of six weeks from the beginning of the session of the legislature otherwise they will become ineffective.

Financial Powers

It is the duty of the Governor to present the Budget for the coming financial year. He may present himself or by the minister concerned for the purpose. The money bill needs a certificate from the Speaker before introducing the same in the lower House. No kind of new taxes & the exemption of taxes can be exercised without the approval of the Governor.

Judicial Power

He enjoys certain judicial powers. The Chief Justice & other judges of the State High Court are appointed on the advice of the Governor. The Judges of other courts are also appointed by him. He has the power to pardon, reprieve & commute punishment. Such powers extend only in respect of cases over which the State Legislature has power to make laws.

Miscellaneous functions

Besides the above functions the Governor has also miscellaneous functions.

i) The Governor may grant help from the Corrtigency Fund to help the people in natural calamities.

ii) The Governor receives the annual report of the Orissa Public Service Commission & with comments of the Cabinet he sends it to the Legislative Assembly.

Position of the Governor

The constitution vests the executive powers of the state in the Governor. There is Chief Minister & his Council of Ministers to aid & advice the Governor. According to Ambedkar the Governor had no functions what to speak of powers, he had only duties. And the duties of the Governor he said are mainly two (i) to retain the ministry in Office & to see when to exercise his pleasure for that purpose in the best possible manner & (ii) to use the ministry, to warn the ministry & to suggest to the ministry alternation & for reconciliation. He always acts on the advice of his minister. The powers vested in the Governor are actually exercised by the ministers. The Governor cannot remove the minister from their office. The Cabinet remains in office so far as it enjoys the support of the majority party. The Governor summons the meeting of the Legislative on the advice of the Cabinet. The Governor dissolves the legislature & orders election on the advice of the Cabinet. He-is not only a rubber stamp but under-certain circumstances he can act according to his own will. This is called his discretionary power.

  1. He is the head of the state as well as the agent of the Central Govt. He is see that the State Govt. carries out the policies and orders of the Central Government.
  2. The Governor should be immediately informed of all the decisions taken by the Cabinet. The Chief Minister informs the Governor about all the decisions by Cabinet. The Governor can ask the Cabinet to reconsider a section.
  3. He can dismiss a ministry if he is convinced that it has lost majority support.

The Governor becomes the agent of the Central Government when the President issues a proclamation of emergency in the state. The administration of the state is run by the Governor during the period of emergency. He then acts according to the orders and wishes of the President.

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