State Minister’s Dismissal

State Minister’s Dismissal

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “State Minister’s Dismissal”. The topic “State Minister’s Dismissal” has relevance in the Governance section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

Constitutional Provisions?

Historical Context?

For Mains:

GS 2 : Governance

Judicial Clarifications?

Concerns Related to Dismissal of Ministers?

Way Forward?

Why in the news?

Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi had, based on the advice of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, hurriedly backtracked on his decision to “dismiss” arrested Minister V. Senthil Balaji.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 164: According to Article 164 of the Indian Constitution, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor without any advice. However, the appointment of individual Ministers is made only on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Governor cannot exercise discretion in appointing Ministers but can dismiss them based on the Chief Minister’s advice.


Historical Context:

  •  Reference to the Government of India Act, 1935: Under the Government of India Act, 1935, which governed the colonial rule, the Governor had absolute discretion to choose and dismiss Ministers. After India gained independence, the Governor’s role transformed into that of a constitutional head, acting on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister.


Judicial Clarifications:

  • Shamsher Singh and Anr vs State Of Punjab (1974): The Supreme Court declared that the President and Governor, who hold executive powers under the Constitution, should exercise their formal constitutional powers only with the advice of their Ministers, except in exceptional situations.
  • Nabam Rebia vs Deputy Speaker (2015): The Supreme Court ruled that Governors cannot cause the downfall of elected governments. It reaffirmed the previous ruling in Shamsher Singh and emphasized that the Governor’s discretionary powers are limited to the provisions of Article 163(1), which states the Governor’s need for aid and advice from the Council of Ministers, led by the Chief Minister.


Concerns Related to Dismissal of Ministers:

  • Constitutional Misadventure: Dismissing a Minister without the Chief Minister’s recommendation is seen as a constitutional misadventure, as it goes against the principle that the Governor acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • Setting Wrong Precedent: The dismissal of a Minister without the Chief Minister’s recommendation may set a precedent and potentially destabilize State governments, jeopardizing the federal system of governance.
  • Collapse of Constitutional System: Allowing Governors to dismiss Ministers without the knowledge and recommendation of the Chief Minister could lead to the collapse of the constitutional system, undermining the authority of the democratically elected State Legislature.


Way Forward:

  • Uphold Constitutional Principles: It is essential to adhere to the constitutional provisions that require the Governor to act on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers.
  • Judicial Clarity: The judiciary should continue to provide clarifications and reinforce the limited discretionary powers of the Governor, as highlighted in previous landmark judgments.
  • Legislative Action: The legislature should consider enacting clear guidelines and regulations that govern the exercise of the Governor’s powers to dismiss Ministers, ensuring accountability and transparency.
  • Preserving Federal Structure: Protecting the federal system of governance is crucial, and any action that has the potential to destabilize State governments should be avoided.
  • Respect for Democracy: The democratic process and the authority of the elected State Legislature should be respected, allowing for the smooth functioning of the parliamentary democracy in India.


Q.1 According to the Indian Constitution, which of the following statements accurately describes the powers of the Governor regarding the dismissal of Ministers?

  1. The Governor can dismiss a Minister only on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  2. The Governor can dismiss a Minister without any recommendations
  3. The Governor’s powers to dismiss Ministers are governed by the President’s advice.


(a) 1 only 

(b) 2 only 

(c) 2 and 3

(d) None of the above

Answer: (a)

Q.2 Which of the following judicial rulings clarified the limitations on the Governor’s powers to dismiss Ministers in India?

(a) Kesavananda Bharati vs. State of Kerala

(b) Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain

(c) Shamsher Singh vs. State of Punjab

(d) S.R. Bommai vs. Union of India

Answer: (c)

Q.3 Discuss the significance of the Governor’s powers in the dismissal of Ministers in the Indian political system, highlighting the constitutional provisions

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