Like the President of India, the Governor of a state has certain executive, legislative and judicial powers. He or she also possesses certain discretionary or emergency powers. But, unlike the President, the Governor does not have any diplomatic or military powers.
- The Governor has the power to appoint the Council of Ministers including the Chief Minister of the state, the Advocate General and the members of the State Public Service Commission. However, the Governor cannot remove the members of the State Public Service Commission as they can only be removed by an order of the President.
- The Governor is consulted by the President in the appointment of the Judges of the state High Court.
- The Governor appoints Judges of the District Courts.
- In case the Governor feels that the Anglo-Indian community has not been adequately represented in the Vidhan Sabha, he or she can nominate one member of the community to the Legislative Assembly of the state.
- In all the states where a bicameral legislature is present, the Governor has a right to nominate the members, who are “persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service”, to the Legislative Council.
- As the Governor is said to be a part of the State Legislature, he has the right of addressing and sending messages, summoning, deferring and dissolving the State Legislature, just like the President has, in respect to the Parliament. Although these are formal powers, in reality, the Governor must be guided by the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers before making such decisions.
- The Governor inaugurates the state legislature and the first session of each year, by addressing the Assembly, outlining the new administrative policies of the ruling government.
- The Governor lays before the State Legislature, the annual financial statement and also makes demands for grants and recommendation of ‘Money Bills’.
- The Governor constitutes the State Finance Commission. He also holds the power to make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the State in the case of any unforeseen circumstances.
- All bills passed by the Legislative Assembly become a law, only after the Governor approves them. In case it is not a money bill, the Governor holds the right to send it back to the Vidhan Sabha for reconsideration. But if the Vidhan Sabha sends back the Bill to the Governor the second time, then he has to sign it.
- The Governor has the power to promulgate an ordinance when the Legislative Assembly is not in session, and a law has to be brought into effect immediately. However, the ordinance is presented in the state legislature in the next session, and remains operative for a total of six weeks, unless it is approved by the legislature.
- The Governor can grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishments. He can also suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of an offence against the law.
- The Governor is consulted by the President in the appointment of the Chief Justice to the High Court of that particular state.
- In case no political party bags a majority in the Vidhan Sabha of the state, the Governor holds the power to use his discretion to select the Chief Minister.
- The Governor informs the President in an official report, of a particular emergency arisen in the state, and imposes ‘President’s Rule’ on the behalf of the President. The Governor, in such circumstances, overrides the advice or functions of the Council of Ministers, and directs upon himself, the workings of the state.