In News: As the Maharashtra political crisis continues to play out, the Governor’s powers under the Constitution to call for a floor test takes centre stage.
Constitutional provisions related to floor test
- Article 174(2) (b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet.
- However, the Governor can apply his mind when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt.
- Under Article 175(2), the Governor can summon the House and call for a floor test to prove whether the government has the numbers.
Power of the Speaker
- In 2020, the Supreme Court, in Shivraj Singh Chouhan & Ors versus Speaker, upheld the powers of the Speaker to call for a floor test if there is a prima facie view that the government has lost its majority.
- When the House is in session, it is the Speaker who can call for a floor test.
- But when the Assembly is not in session, the Governor’s residuary powers under Article 163 allow him to call for a floor test.
Council of Ministers to aid and advice Governor
- There shall be a council of Ministers with the chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
- If any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion.
- The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court.
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2018)
- No criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the Governor of a State in any court during his term of office.
- The emoluments and allowances of the Governor of a State shall not be diminished during his term of office.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2