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In the background of quite a few questions being raised about the constitutionality of governors’ actions on numerous instances in the recent, deliberate upon the discretionary powers of the Governor mentioned in the Constitution of India and explain how these discretionary powers have led to debates.

Topic : Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

5. In the background of quite a few questions being raised about the constitutionality of governors’ actions on numerous instances in the recent, deliberate upon the discretionary powers of the Governor mentioned in the Constitution of India and explain how these discretionary powers have led to debates. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The Governor of Rajasthan, Kalraj Mishra repeatedly turned down the advice of the Council of Ministers to convene a session of the Rajasthan Assembly. Thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Deliberate upon the discretionary powers of the Governor mentioned in the Constitution of India and explain how these discretionary powers have led to debates.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain in what way the Governor’s action in the state of Rajasthan has raised the question whether he has the power to turn down the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.

Body:

Discuss the role and powers of Governor first. In 2016, in the Nabam Rebia, Bamang Felix v. Deputy Speaker and others case, the Supreme Court of India (5 judge Constitution bench) examined the powers of the Governor, particularly with reference to summoning an Assembly session. The SC held that the Governor’s power under Article 174 to summon, prorogue and dissolve the house(s) must be exercised in consonance with the aid and advice of the chief minister and his council of ministers.

Explain the nuances as to when can the Governor act without the advice of the Council of Ministers? 

Conclusion:

Conclude that the misuse of the Governor’s office by parties in power at the Centre, to disturb State governments in control of the Opposition has remained a scourge. However, The Constituent Assembly very consciously limited the Governor’s discretionary powers. According to the 2016 Supreme Court judgment, a Governor cannot have an overriding authority, over the representatives of the people, who constitute the state legislature and/or even the executive government functioning under the council of ministers with the Chief Minister as the head.

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