The governors of the Indian states have the same powers and functions at the state level as the Indian president at the union level. Each state has a governor, and federal territories (including the National Capital Territory of Delhi) have lieutenant governors or administrator. The governor acts as the nominal head whereas the real power is in the hands of the state Chief minister and the council of ministers.Although in the union territory, the real power is in the hands of the lieutenant governor or administrator, except for the NCT of Delhi, Pondicherry and Jammu and Kashmir, where he shares power with a council of ministers headed by a chief minister.

In India, a lieutenant governor is in charge of a union territory. However, the rank is present only in the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands,  Ladakh , Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and  Pondicherry  (the other territories have an administrator appointed, who is usually an IAS officer or a retired judge of a court). However, the governor of Punjab acts as the administrator of Chandigarh. Lieutenant governors do not hold the same rank as a governor of a state in the list of precedence.

The governors and lieutenant governors are appointed by the president for a term of five years.
The office of the Governor as the agent of the central government and as the statutory head of the state has been controversial since the enactment of the Indian Constitution.
Governor is the constitutional head and the chief executive of any state of the Indian Union. The role of the Governor is similar but not exactly the same as the President of India. He is a nominal executive head and the real powers lie with the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. The Governor acts as the agent of the Union government and has been envisioned a dual role.
In article 153 to article 162 of the constitution, the role of the Governor has been discussed. The constitution has the provisions for appointment, removal, tenure of the service and duties of the Governor. The Governor has executive, legislative, judicial and financial powers.

Executive powers of the governor-

•Governor stands as the nominal and constitutional head of the state. All the executive actions are formally taken in the name of the Governor.
•The Governor appoints the leader of the majority party as the chief minister of the state.
The Chief Minister appoints the other Council of ministers with the help of the Governor.
•The Governor appoints the Advocate General of the state, the state election
commissioner, the Chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission etc.
•The government can recommend the imposition of constitutional emergency to the president. The Governor enjoys the executive powers during the emergency as the agent
of the president.
•The Governor appoints the tribal welfare commissioners in the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

Legislative powers of the governor-

•The Governor is an integral part of the state legislatures. He has the power to summon, adjourn or program, and dissolve the state legislative assembly.
•If the state legislature has two houses, the Governor can call for a joint sitting of both the houses.
•One-sixth members of the state legislative assembly are appointed by the Governor from amongst the persons having practical experience or special knowledge in science, art, literature, social service, and the cooperative movement.
•When any bill is sent to the Governor by the state legislature, he can either give assent to the bill, quash the bill, return the bill for reconsideration (if it is not a money bill), or reserve the bill for consideration of the president.
•The Governor has the power to promulgate an ordinance when the state legislature is not in the session. He can also promulgate any Ordinance during the time of state emergency. These ordinances have to be approved by the state legislature within 6 weeks from its reassembly.

Financial powers of the governor-

•The Governor stands as the ruling authority on every annual financial statement of the state which is passed by the state legislature.
•The Governor verifies the money bills, and it can only be introduced in the state legislative assembly with his prior recommendation.
•He constitutes the state finance commission after every 5 years for the review of the financial positions of the municipalities and panchayats.

Judicial powers of the governor-

•The Governor enjoys judicial powers for granting pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishment or suspension, and commute of the sentence of any person who has been convicted under the state law.
•The President of India consults the Governor for the appointment of the judges of concerned state high courts.
•The Governor makes appointments, promotions and postings of the district judges in consultation with the concerned High Court. He appoints the persons of judicial services in consultation with the state public service commission and the concerned High Court.


•Rameshwar Prasad case, 2006: this case was on the validity of the President’s rule and the dissolution of the Bihar assembly in 2005. The Supreme Court ruled that the Governor cannot take decisions on the basis of his subjective assessments.
•Nabam rebia case, 2016: the Supreme Court ruled that the Governor is just an executive and nominee and not an elected representative, and his powers flow from the aid and advice of the cabinet ministers. Use of discretionary powers for summoning or dissolving assembly sessions without the advice of the cabinet is unconstitutional.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: