Removal of Governors: A Fraud on the Constitution by Aaditya Dighe & Nikhil Iyer

The Authors: Aaditya Dighe & Nikhil Iyer are Law Students studying at WBNUJS, Kolkatta

Introduction

The removal of incumbent Governors by a newly formed Central Government has been a recurring trend in Indian polity. This trend, which started in 1977 with the rise of the Janata Party right after the emergency proclaimed by the Indira Gandhi led Congress Government, has refused to die down. It has been a trend which has been followed over the years by new governments which kick start their tenure by removing the Governors previously appointed by the old Government. The most recent occurrence of this trend came to the fore with the removal of more than 7 incumbent Governors and their replacement with former members of the BJP; each one of these taking place after the formation of the new NDA Government in May 2014. This action by the BJP has again resulted in the revival of debates questioning the constitutionality of the manner of removal of the Governors. While the ruling party maintains that due procedure was followed in these removals, one can hardly overlook the constitutional impropriety which has taken place. This manner of removal has resulted in complete politicisation and loss of reverence towards the constitutional post of a Governor. This essay thus, maps out the process which has to be followed in removing of the Governors from their Constitutional posts, as prescribed by various committees and the Supreme Court while interpreting Article 156 of the Constitution of India. It further analyses the clash of interests and ideologies between the old and new governments – leading to politicisation of the post, which acts as the main factor behind this continuing trend of ousting of the Governor. This essay finally reiterates the reverence due to the post of a Governor, by looking at the historical significance of the glorified post and refuting the claims of doing away with the concerned constitutional post. Finally this essay fulfils its objectives by recommending possible methods to be adopted in the process of appointment and removal of Governors.

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