Governor’s Power over State Bills

2023 APR 28

Preliminary   > Polity   >   Executive   >   Governor

Why in news?

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) have observed that bills sent to the governor for assent must be returned "as soon as possible" and not sit over them, causing Gubernatorial Procrastination and making state Legislative Assemblies wait indefinitely.
  • The SC observed as a part of judicial order in a petition filed by the State of Telangana complaining that the Governor has kept pending several important Bills sent.

About Governor’s Power over State Bills:

  • Article 200:
    • Article 200 of the Constitution when a bill is sent to the governor after it is passed by state legislature, he can:
      • (a) Give his assent to the bill, or
      • (b) Withhold his assent to the bill, or
      • (c) Return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. However, if the bill is passed again by the state legislature with or without amendments, the governor has to give his assent to the bill, or
      • (d) Reserve the bill for the consideration of the president. In one case such reservation is obligatory, that is, where the bill passed by the state legislature endangers the position of the state high court.
    • In addition, the governor can also reserve the bill if it is of the following nature:
      • (i) Ultra-vires, that is, against the provisions of the Constitution.
      • (ii) Opposed to the Directive Principles of State Policy.
      • (iii) Against the larger interest of the country.
      • (iv) Of grave national importance.
      • (v) Dealing with compulsory acquisition of property under Article 31A of the Constitution.
  • Article 201:
    • It states that when a Bill is reserved for the consideration of the President, the President may assent to or withhold assent from the Bill.
    • The President may also direct the Governor to return the Bill to the Legislature of the State for reconsideration (Here also money bill cannot be returned).


Consider the following statements:

1. Governor cannot reserve a money bill to the President

2.Constitution doesn’t not prescribe a time-frame by which Governor has to take a decision on a bill passed by state legislature

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2