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Powers of Governor, floor test law in the spotlight

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Syllabus: Parliament and state legislature: structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers and privileges.



  • In Maharashtra as the Chief Minister possibly loses the majority, the Governor’s powers under the Constitution to call for a floor test take centre stage.
  • Article 174(2)(b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet.
  • However, the Governor can apply his mind when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt.


Constitutional Provisions Related to Governor’s Role in Calling an Assembly Session:

  • Article 174: Says that the Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit.
    • The provision also puts on the Governor the responsibility of ensuring that the House is summoned at least once every six months.
  • Article 163: Although it is the Governor’s prerogative to summon the House, according to Article 163, the Governor is required to act on the “aid and advice” of the Cabinet.
    • So when the Governor summons the House under Article 174, this is not of his or her own will but on the aid and advice of the Cabinet.
  • Exception: When the Chief Minister appears to have lost the majority and the legislative members of the House propose a no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister, then the Governor can decide on his or her own on summoning the House.
  • The actions of the Governor, when using his discretionary powers, can be challenged in court.


Insta Links

To read about floor test: click here

To read more about Governor: click here


Practice Questions:

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. Under Article 174 the Governor has the power to summon the House of his own will.
  2. The actions of the Governor, when using his discretionary powers, cannot be challenged in court.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Source: Indian Express