[Answered] Does the governor have the right to delete portions of his address to the legislative assembly? Discuss with various judicial and legal references.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Explain some judicial and legal references about governor’s right to delete portions of his address to the legislative assembly.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Governor is the Constitutional head of the state. The Governor has to exercise his powers and functions with the aid and advice of the council of ministers headed by the chief minister. He has an important constitutional role to play in the governance of the state and in strengthening federalism. Article 176 has provisions of Special address by the Governor.

The following judicial and legal references explain whether governor has the right to delete portions of his address to the legislative assembly or not:

  • According to the constitutional convention, the President or the Governor should not depart from the text, as it is nothing but a statement of policy of the elected government.
  • The Constitution gives no discretion to governors in the matter of convening the session of the assembly. Parliamentary democracy being the basic structure of our Constitution, though Article 174 does say that the governor from time to time summons the assembly to meet at such time and place “he thinks fit”. Governors have no business to question the purpose of convening the sessions of the House.
  • The Supreme Court in Nabam Rebia (2016) had observed that the Governor had no discretion in convening the assembly session.
  • It was subsequently held by Justice B N Banerjee of the Calcutta High Court in Andul Gafoor Habibullah v. Speaker, West Bengal Assembly (1966) that the governor cannot decline to deliver his address and refuse to fulfil his constitutional duty. However, when the governor fails to deliver his address under Article 176 and walks out of the House, it cannot be questioned under Article 212.
  • The Calcutta HC held the governor has the right to delete or not read irrelevant portions or portions which do not deal with the policy of the government. Governor can exercise his discretion in leaving out of his address the irrelevant matter.

The governor is a key intermediary in the Centre-state relationship. He reigns but does not rule. All governors too must remain true to their oath of “preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution

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