New Delhi: The Supreme Court verdict on
governor`s tenure is similar to what Sarkaria Commission had
said 22 years ago when it noted that state heads should not be
sacked unless there is "some extremely compelling reasons".
But, none of the governments at Centre seemed to have
followed the suggestion, which is one of 247 recommendations
of the Commission that studied the Centre-State relations and
submitted its report in January 1988.
"We recommend that the governors tenure of office of
five years in a state should not be disturbed except very
rarely and that too for some extremely compelling reason. It
is indeed very necessary to assure a measure of security of
tenure to the Governor`s office," said the Commission.
It had also pointed out that the fear of the tenure
being terminated before completion, can "create considerable
insecurity in the mind of the governor and impair his capacity
to withstand pressures, resist extraneous influences and act
impartially in the discharge of his discretionary functions".
The Commission was of the view that a governor from
outside the state necessarily needs sometime to get himself
acquainted with the "problems of the state, the aspirations of
its people, and the working of the state government".
It is only thereafter that he can address himself to
the important tasks. "In this way, the ministers can benefit,
of a reasonably long period, from the counsels of governor who
is experienced and a person of eminence," it said.
The Commission also felt repeated shifting of
governors from one state to another can "lower the prestige"
of this office to the detriment of both the Union and the
The Commission, which surveyed the tenures of
governors from 1947 up to October 1986, found that out of the
154 tenures, 104 or two-thirds of them were having a duration
of less than five years.
Many governors have held office in more than one state
successively without a break. During the period up to October,
1986, 31 persons held 63 tenures of governors. Out of these,
58 tenures were for a period of less than five years.
It also found that 35 governors, who served only in
one state, did not complete their full tenure.
Among them, there were two instances in which the
governors had to demit office without completing five years on
the "withdrawal of pleasure" of the President.
In October 1980, then Tamil Nadu Governor Prabhudas
Patwari was dismissed, demonstrating that the President`s
"pleasure" under Article 156 (1) can be used by the Prime
Minister to dismiss any Governor for political reasons, and
without assigning any cause.