The Supreme Court today said that the Governor can exercise his power without the aid and advice of council of ministers only when the government in power loses majority in a floor test.
“Only in a situation where the Government in power, on the holding of such floor test, is seen to have lost the confidence of the majority, it would be open to the Governor to exercise the powers vested with him under Article 174 at his own, and without any aid and advice,” a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar said.
Referring to reports of Justice Sarkaria Commission report which was reiterated by Justice M M Punchhi Commission, the bench said that “as long as the Council of Ministers enjoys the confidence of the House, the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister is binding on the Governor, on the subject of summoning, proroguing or dissolving the House or Houses of the State Legislature”.
Justice Sarkaria Commission was set up in 1983 by the Centre to examine the relationship and balance of power between state and central governments. Justice M M Punchhi was also later commissioned to deal with the same issue.
The bench said, “the above position would stand altered, if the Government in power has lost the confidence of the House. As and when the Chief Minister does not enjoy the support from the majority of the House, it is open to the Governor to act at his own, without any aid and advice.”
“Aid and advice sustains and subsists, till the Government enjoys the confidence of the Legislature. We find no justification in taking a different view than the one expressed by the Justice Sarkaria Commission report, conclusions whereof were reiterated by the Justice M M Punchhi Commission report”, it said.
(Source : PTI)