The Role of Governors in Maintaining India’s Federal Structure

Publication Information

Journal Title: Indian Politics & Law Review
Author(s): Dr. Rakesh Chandra
Published On: 31/10/2023
Volume: 8
First Page: 295
Last Page: 305
ISSN: 2581-7086
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Dr. Rakesh Chandra, The Role of Governors in Maintaining India’s Federal Structure, Volume 8, Indian Politics & Law Review, 295-305, Published on 31/10/2023, Available at


Chapter II (Article 153-163) of the Constitution of India deals with the appointment and powers of the Governors. Even a cursory reading of these constitutional provisions clearly indicates that they can only exercise powers that are granted to them by the Constitution or a law made under it. In Shamsher Singh vs. State of Punjab, 1974, the seven-judge Bench of the Apex Court held that the governor must exercise his powers only upon and in accordance with the aid and advice of the ministers, save in a few well-known exceptional situations. In the Constituent Assembly in June 1949, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar specifically stated that the governor under the Constitution has no functions which he can discharge by himself. No functions at all. At the same time, he has certain duties to perform. However, it has been frequently observed that the unwanted tussle between the governor and the elected government with the chief minister at its head is taking place on various pretexts. This phenomenon is more visible in the Opposition-run States. In the recent past, such acrimonious incidents took place in the States of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala etc. because of the governor ‘s transgressing their Constitutional limits. This has a direct bearing on the Centre-State relations and the federal structure of the country. This paper delves into different aspects of the problem, it’s ramifications upon the federal structure of the country, and also tries to suggest the possible solutions

Keywords: Centre-State Relations, Governor, Federal Structure, Constitution of India, Executive Head

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