‘A Governor cannot run a parallel government’

A Governor cannot use his discretionary powers to run a parallel administration or a ‘diarchy’ challenging the existence of an elected State government.

In case a “remarkable situation” arises in the political spectrum of the State, the Governor’s duty is only to report to the President and wait for a decision, the Supreme Court held on Wednesday.

Condemning controversial roles played by Governors in inviting President’s rule, a Constitution Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar held that a Governor’s discretion under Article 163 to act without the aid and advice of the Cabinet is very narrow and limited.

“A Governor can act in his own discretion if his actions are justified by or under the Constitution... but the Governor’s exercise of this discretion would be open to challenge where it can be shown to be perverse, capricious, fallacious, extraneous or for a motivated consideration,” the Supreme Court held in a judgment condemning Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa’s unilateral decision to advance a State Assembly session which sparked a political crisis in the border State.