Reassessing the Role of the Rajpramukh: An Analysis of the Continuing Relevance of the Governor’s Position
Agnidipto Tarafder & Avantik Tamta*
Volume 10 Issue 2 (2017)
Beginning with the Constituent Assembly, the issue of gubernatorial discretion has often invited great debate, which has only intensified over time. In this paper, we attempt to identify the need to continue with the position of the Governor as the Centre-appointed Head of the state. Considering that the debates in this field remain highly polarised even today, we trace the trajectory of the Constituent Assembly Debates regarding the creation of the post of the Governor, so as to examine what this position was envisaged to entail. Further, we revisit the controversies surrounding the exercise of ‘gubernatorial discretion’, and analyse the Supreme Court’s decisions emphasising the limits to the same, as well as the recommendations of the Sarkaria and Punchhi Commissions on Centre-State relations. Our analysis culminates in a discussion regarding the ultimate utility of retaining this position in the future in light of the recent political developments. We seek to espouse a fresh perspective towards understanding the continued relevance and significance of this office, and aim to provide holistic suggestions for maintaining its apolitical mandate, as conceived by the Founding Fathers of India and as manifested in the text of our Constitution.