The State Executive
Q. The State Executive
The executive at the state level has been modeled on the central pattern. It consists of the Governor, the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister.
The executive power of the state is vested in the Governor and all the executive action of the state has to be taken in the name of the Governor. Normally there is a governor for each state but it is possible to appoint the same person as Governor for two or more states.
Appointment, term of office and qualifications
The Governor is appointed by the President and holds office during the pleasure of the President. The Governor is appointed for a term of five years. However, he can relinquish his office earlier by tendering his resignation to the President . The President can also remove him from office before the expiry of his term.
To be eligible for appointment as governor a person
(1) Must be a citizen of India
(2) Must have completed 35 years of age
(3) Should not be a member of either house of Parliament or the State legislature
(4) Must possess the qualifications prescribed for membership of the state legislatures
(5) Must not hold any office of profit.
Powers and Functions
The Constitution vests quite extensive powers in the Governor and he is expected to exercise on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
(1) Executive Powers
The governor is the executive head of the state and all executive actions of the State are taken in his name. He also appoints all important officials of the state including the Chief minister ministers advocate general, chairman and members of the state public service commission.
(2) Legislative Powers
The Governor is a part of the State Legislature. He has the power to
(a) Summon or prorogue either house of the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assembly
(b) Address the first session of the state legislature after the general elections
(c) Send messages to the state legislature on bills pending before it
(d) Appoint one- sixth of the members of the legislative council
(e) He can appoint one member from the Anglo- Indian community to the state legislative assembly if in his opinion this community is not adequately represented in that house.
(f) Give assent to the bills passed by the state legislature
(g) Reserve certain bills passed by the legislature for the assent of the President
(h) Make laws through ordinances during the recess of the state legislatures
(3) Financial powers
He ensures that the budget of the state is laid before the state legislature every year. All money bills can be introduced in the state legislature only on the recommendation of the Governor. The Governor administers the Contingency Fund of the State and can advance money out of it to meet unforeseen expenditure pending its authorization by the legislature.
(4) Judicial powers
The Governor is consulted by the President while appointing the Chief Justice and judges of the state High Court. He appoints judges of courts below the high court. Like the President, the Governor has the power to grant pardons,
reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment to persons convicted of an offence against state laws.
(5) Emergency powers-
The Governor has the power to make a report to the President whenever he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution (Art 356) thereby inviting the President to assume to himself the functions of the government of the state or any of them. When the state is placed under President’s rule the Governor acts as the representative of the President in the state and assumes extensive powers.
The Governor is assisted in the discharge of his functions by a Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. Generally the leader of the majority party in the state assembly is appointed Chief Minister, who holds position identical to that of the Prime Minister at the center. He enjoys a term that runs parallel to that of the state legislature. The Chief Minister recommends to the Governor the names of persons to be appointed as members of the Council of Ministers and allocates portfolios among them. The Chief Minister is the chief link between the Governor and the Council of Ministers and keeps the former informed of all decisions of the council.
Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers which has been provided by the constitution to aid and assist the Governor, consists of the Chief Minister and other ministers. While the minister is appointed by the Governor, the other members are appointed by the governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. Any person can be appointed as a minister but he ceases to be a minister if he is not elected as a member of the State legislature within six months after his appointment as a Minister. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Vidhan Sabha.
Advocate – General
The Advocate General is the first law officer of a state. The office corresponds to the office of the Attorney General of India and enjoys similar function within the state. He is appointed by the Governor and holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. A person who is qualified to be appointed as a judge of a high court can only be appointed as Advocate General. He has the right to participate in the proceedings of the houses of state legislatures without the right to vote and has the right of audience in any court in the State.