01 Nov Doctrine of Pleasure
Doctrine of Pleasure
About Doctrine of Pleasure:
Significance for Prelims: Role of governor in appointing ministers, Article 164 of Indian Constitution.
Significance for Mains: Centre-State Relations, Office of Governor, and issues associated with discretionary powers
Context: The Kerala Governor recently stated that the Finance Minister of Kerala ceases to enjoy his pleasure in pushing the Kerala government into a legal and political predicament.
It was developed in the United Kingdom where British Monarchy enjoys unique powers as all subordinates serve at the monarch’s pleasure and are subject to dismissal at any time.
In India, “Article 310” codifies the “Doctrine of Pleasure in Constitution” which says every person in the defense or civil service of the Union holds office at the pleasure of the President, and every member of the civil service in the States holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
Under Article 164, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor; and the other Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the CM’s advice. It adds that Ministers hold office at the pleasure of the Governor.
In a constitutional scheme in which they are appointed solely on the CM’s advice, the ‘pleasure’ referred to is also taken to mean the right of the Chief Minister to dismiss a Minister and not that of the Governor. In short, the Governor of an Indian State cannot remove a Minister on his own.
Pic: Indian Constitution
Discretionary Powers with the Governors:
- Reservation of a Bill for the President’s reconsideration
- When given administrators’ charge, actions can be taken at will.
- Send report to the President for consideration of Constitutional Emergency
- When s/he calls upon the Chief Minister to seek information regarding administrative and legislative affairs.
Steps were taken to reform the Office of Governor:
- Sarkaria Commission (1983): The commission recommended that the Vice-President of India and the Speaker of Lok Sabha should be consulted by the Prime Minister in the selection of governors.
- National Commission to review the working of the Constitution (2000): The NCRWC recommended that the Governor should be appointed by the President after due consultation with the Chief Minister of state.
- Punchii Commission (2007): The committee recommended Governor should be chosen by the committee comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Chief Minister, Vice-President, and Speaker of Lok Sabha.
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1. Asiana Times
2. The Hindu