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Non-stop violation of the constitution in the matter of Governor particularly in the removal of the gubernatorial post to satisfy the vested interests of the ruling parties in the Government.

ambedkar 450It is frequently discussed in the media as a hot topic since of NDA Government assumes office after the 16th Loksabha Elections, though the spirit of the Constitution in the particular matter is unambiguous in the matter of removal of a Governor.

It is on record in the form of draft constitution and on the constituent Assembly debates while adopting the Constitution Bill.

The draft Constitution proposed that the governor of a State shall be elected by those persons who have the right to vote at a general election for the legislative assembly of the state. Alternatively the governor shall be appointed by the President from a panel of four candidates to be elected by the Legislative assembly of the State or by all the members of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council assembled in a joint meeting. The removal of a Governor shall be made by an impeachment in the State Legislative by 2/3 majority of membership of the Assembly.  

But the proposal in the draft Constitution in the matter of appointment and removal of a Governor of a state is not adopted and after a detailed debate on various angles, the final position is what has been enshrined in the Constitution.  Accordingly the Governor shall be appointed by the President and his tenure will be 5 years during the pleasure of the President.

Where there is a demand for stating certain grounds for removal of a Governor in the Constitution itself, the explanation or clarification given by the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution in the constituent Assembly is :- “It seems to me that when you have given the general power, you also give the power to the President to remove a Governor for corruption, for bribery, for violation of the Constitution or for any other reason which the President no doubt feels is legitimate ground for the removal of the Governor. It seems therefore, quite unnecessary to burden the Constitution with all these limitations stated in express terms when it is perfectly possible for the President to act upon the very same ground under the formula that the Governor shall hold office during his pleasure. I, therefore, think that it is unnecessary to categorise the conditions under which the President may undertake the removal of the Governor.” (Source Ref: Constituent Assembly Debate Vol VIII 31st May 1949 - P474)

Thus the intention of the Constitution has been spelt out after an elaborate discussion in unambiguous terms in the matters of appointment, tenure and removal of a Governor of a State. Here, the pleasure refers to not the personal wishes or ambition of the President or Government but for specific reasons which must be transparent in the modern welfare Government.

Where there is tenure fixed as 5 years, the Governor cannot be removed before completion of tenure as the intention has been well stated by the framers of the Constitution and it is available in the Constituent Assembly debates.  Therefore, the removal of a Governor appointed by the previous Government through the President by the succeeding Government is unconstitutional and disrespecting the spirit and intention of the Constitution. Further, it is a ridicule of the framers of the Constitution who have worked for 3 years with about 300 members in the constituent assembly to frame the Constitution. 

When there is a doubt or question risen with regard to the interpretation of the constitution, it is the duty of incumbents of the Government to refer the Constituent Assembly debates and find out the intention of the Constitution. But it is not done by the authorities occupying the Government; instead they are making every effort to drift away from the spirit of the Constitution and satisfy their favoured persons in the gubernatorial posts be it Janata in 1977 or Congress in 1980 or NDA in 1999 or UPA in 2004 or now NDA etc.  Thus, the Constitution of our Nation is violated again and again to achieve the design of their personal interests and thus the People of India are misled and the Constitution is either misinterpreted or ignored.

Even after the verdict of the Honourable Apex Court in B.P.Singhal Vs UOI in 2010 that ruled “that a Governor‘s removal is justiciable and there should be good valid and compelling reasons for such removal. The power should not be exercised arbitrarily, capriciously or unreasonably.” (Refer the editorial of the Hindu dated June 19,2014), attempting to continue the unconstitutional methods to remove the Governor for no specific reasons is unethical and also undermining the verdict of the Apex Court.

To respect the spirit of the Constitution, let the Governing politicians lead the Nation according to the Constitution to settle the problem once and for all in the matter of Governor. Let the constitution be upheld for just and fair rule for which the Constitution is enacted and it is supreme in the country.  

- S. JAYARAJ M.A., M.L., Social activist, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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