The executive power of the state is vested in the Governor and all executive actions of the state have to be taken in the name of the Governor. But, he has to act as the nominal head of the state due to parliamentary system. Normally, there shall be a Governor for each state according to Article 153, but an amendment of 1956 makes it possible to appoint the same person as the Governor for two or more states. The Governor is not elected but is appointed by the President and holds office at the pleasure of the President.
Any citizen of India over 35 years of age is eligible for the office, but he must not hold any other office of profit, not be a member of the legislature of the union or of any state according to Article 158. But, the Sarkaria Commission has suggested that a person to be appointed as the Governor should satisfy the following criteria.
1. He should be eminent in some walk of life.
2. He should be a person from outside the state.
3. He should be a detached figure and not intimately connected with local polities of the state.
4. He should be a person who has not taken too great a part in polities generally and particularly in the recent past and
5. In selecting a Governor in accordance with the above criteria, persons belonging to the minority groups should continue to be given a chance as hitherto.
According to the Constitution, the Governor is appointed by the President by a warrant under his hand and seal. But, in actual practice, the Governor is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The normal term of a Governor's office shall be five years and he can be given another term also. Even after the completion of his term, he continues in office till his successor joins the office. Even though the term of office of Governor is five years, he may lose his office by his resignation or the dismissal by the President. He receives his salary from the Consolidated Fund of the state which is non-votable in the State Legislature.
The Governor is the head of the state executive and he has enormous powers. In the exercise of functions and powers, the Governor, except in certain cases, is to be guided by the aid and advise of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister under Article 163. As the executive head in the state level, the Governor has following functions and powers.
A. Executive powers B. Legislative powers
C. Financial powers
D. Judicial powers
E. Discretionary powers, and
F. Miscellaneous powers.
1. All executive actions of the state government are formally taken in the name of Governor.
2. He appoints the Chief Minister and other ministers. They also hold office during his pleasure.
3. He appoints the Advocate - General of the state and determines his remuneration. The Advocate General holds his office during the pleasure of the Governor.
4. He appoints the State Election Commissioner and determines his condition of service and tenure of office.
5. He appoints the Chairman and Members of the State Public Service Commission. Yet, they can be removed from office only by the President of India and not by the Governor.
6. He can seek any information relating to the affairs of the state and the proposals for legislation from the Chief Minister.
7. He can require the Chief Minister to submit for the consideration of the council of ministers on any matter.
8. He can make rules specifying the manner in which the orders and other instruments made and executed in his name, shall be authenticated.
9. He can make rules for more convenient transaction of the business of the government and for the allocation among the ministers of the said business; and
10. He can recommend for the imposition of President's rule in the state to the President under Article 356. During such rule, the Governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the President.
The Governor is an integral part of the state legislature. But, he is not a member in the either house of the legislature. In this capacity, he enjoys the following legislative powers.
1. He has the right to summon or prorogue the state legislature and dissolve the State Legislative Assembly.
2. He can address the state legislature at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year.
3. He can send massages to the houses of the state legislature relating to a bill pending in the legislature.
4. He can appoint any member of the Legislative Assembly to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant.
5. He nominates one - sixth of the members of the State Legislative Council from amongst the persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service. But, the Governor of Tamil Nadu need not do this function because, the State Legislative Council, the upper house has been abolished since 1986.
6. He can nominate one member to the State Legislative Assembly from the Anglo-Indian Community.
7. He decides on the question of disqualification of members of the state legislature in consultation with the Election Commission.
8. Every bill passed by the state legislature will become law only after his signature. But, when a bill is sent to the Governor after it is passed by the legislature, he has the options to give his assent to the bill or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill for the reconsideration of the legislature.
9. He has to reserve any bill passed by the state legislature which endangers the position of the state High Court, for the consideration of the President.
10. He can promulgate ordinances when the state legislature is not in session under Article 213. But, these ordinances must be approved by the legislature within six months. He can also withdraw an ordinance at anytime; and.
11. He has to lay the annual reports of the state Finance Commission, the State Public Service Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General relating to the accounts of the state, before the state legislature.
1. The Governor has to see that the state budget known as the Annual Financial Statement is laid before the legislature.
2. Money Bills can be introduced in the state legislature only with his prior recommendation.
3. No demand for any grant can be made exception on his recommendation.
4. He can make advances out of the state Contingency Fund to meet any unforeseen expenditure; and
5. He constitutes a Finance Commission after every five years to review the financial position of the panchayats and the municipalities.
1. The Governor can grant pardons, reprieve and remissions of punishment or suspend, remit and commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence. But, the pardoning power of the Governor differs from the president in following ways.
The President can pardon the death sentence while the Governor cannot.
The President can pardon the sentences inflicted by court martial whereas the Governor can not.
2. He is consulted by the President while appointing the judges of the concerned sate High Court.
3. He makes appointments, postings and promotions of the district judges in consultation with the High Court; and
4. He appoints the persons to the judicial service of the state in consultation with High Court and the Public Service Commission.
1. The Governor reserves a bill for the consideration of the president.
2. He recommends for the imposition of the President's rule in the state.
3. He seeks information form the Chief Minister relating to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.
4. He can call the leader of any party to form ministry in the state when there is no clear-cut majority to any party in the Legislative Assembly after the general elections.
5. He can dismiss the Council of Ministers when it is unable to prove the confidence of the Legislative Assembly; and
6. He can dissolve the Legislative Assembly if the Council of Ministers has lost its majority.
In addition to the functions and powers mentioned above, the Governor exercises the following miscellaneous function also.
1. The Governor receives the annual report of the State Public Service Commission and submits the same to the Council of Ministers and the state legislature for discussion; and
2. He receives the report of the Auditor - General regarding income and expenditure made by different departments under the State Government.
The Constitution of India provides for a Parliamentary form of Government in the centre and in the states. Consequently, the Governor has been made only a nominal executive and the real executive constitutes the council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister. As a result, the Governor has to exercise his powers and functions with the aid and advise of the council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister. As a matter of fact, the constitution has assigned a dual role to the office of Governor in the Indian federal system, namely, the constitutional head of the state and the representative of the centre, ie the President. The following list shows the Governors of Tamil Nadu since 1952.
1. Thiru Shriprakasha 1952 - 56
2. Thiru A.J. John 1956 - 57
3. Thiru Vishnuram Methi 1958 - 64
4. Thiru J.V. Bhahadur 1964 - 66
5. Thiru Sardar Ujjal Singh 1966 - 71
6. Thiru K.K. Shaw 1971 - 76
7. Thiru Mohanlal Sugadia 1976 - 77
8. Thiru Prabudas Patwari 1977 - 80
9. Thiru Sadiq Ali 1980 - 82
10. Thiru Sundarlal Khurana 1982 - 88
11. Thiru P.C. Alexandar 1988 - 90
12. Thiru Surjeeth Singh Barnala 1990 - 91.
13. Thiru Bisma Narain Singh 1991 - 93
14. Thiru M. Chenna Reddy 1993 - 96
15. Thiru Krishnakanth 1996 - 97
16. Miss Fathima Bevi 1997 - 01
17. Thiru C. Rangarajan 2001 - 02
18. Thiru Ram Mohan Rao Jan 18, 2002