Governor not 'guide' or 'mentor' to assembly speaker: SC in 2016 verdict in Arunachal case

In 2016, the apex court had held as unconstitutional the decision of Arunachal Pradesh governor J P Rajkhowa to advance the floor test.

Published: 19th July 2019 06:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2019 07:10 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo| Shekhar Yadav, EPS)


NEW DELHI: As the Karnataka Governor gave two deadlines to the chief minister to prove his majority, a 2016 Supreme Court verdict assumes significance in which it had held that it is not within the Governor's domain to interfere with the functions of the Speaker as he is "neither a guide, nor a mentor" to the latter.

In 2016, the apex court had held as unconstitutional the decision of Arunachal Pradesh Governor J P Rajkhowa to advance the floor test.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala set two deadlines for the H D Kumaraswamy government to prove majority on the floor of the assembly by Friday.


A five-judge Constitution bench headed by the then CJI J S Khehar had restored the dismissed Congress government led by Nabam Tuki in Arunachal Pradesh and had dealt in details the power of the Governor under the Constitution.

"It is not within his domain to interfere with the functions of the Speaker, as the Governor is neither a guide, nor a mentor to the Speaker and has no role whatsoever in the removal of Speaker or Deputy Speaker. Both the Governor and the Speaker have independent constitutional responsibilities," the bench had said.

It had held that the Governor cannot be an "overriding authority" over the people's representatives and there can be no interference at his behest so long as the democratic process in the assembly functioned through a majority government.

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"It is not within the realm of the Governor to embroil himself in any political thicket. The Governor must remain aloof from any disagreement, discord, disharmony, discontent or dissension, within individual political parties.

"The activities within a political party, confirming turbulence, or unrest within its ranks, are beyond the concern of the Governor. The Governor must keep clear of any political horse-trading, and even unsavoury political manipulations, irrespective of the degree of their ethical repulsiveness," it had said.

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