APPOINTMENT OF GOVERNORS : IMPLICATIONS FOR FEDERALISM IN INDIA
– Meghna Khetrapal,
National Law Institute University Bhopal
– Geetanjali R. Kamat,
National Law Institute University
The Indian Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is a written and sovereign body. The judicial spirit of the country can be inferred from the intention of our Constitution makers, who drafted one ofthe most detailed Constitutions in the world.Aconcordat forms the superstructure upon which the concept of federalism is based; which in itself entails the supremacy of the Constitution. In the light of federalism, it recognizes the importance of division of powers between the Union and the State governments. There are a few advantages, related to the federal form of government. The autonomy given to the State government cannot be interfered with by the Union government and vice-versa. Yet, the appointment of Governors by the President of India brings in the tendency to favour the Centre over the States. More importantly, the ‘Doctrine of Pleasure’, which plays a crucial role in determining the tenure of the State Governor, has important implications for the practice of federalism in India.1 However, a centrist tendency that comes into play has to be in tune with situations that cry for the need for justice as it engulfs in itself a more flexible approach. In order to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution, the Governor is under a dutyto report any indecorous dispositions to the Centre. If the Governors are appointed or removed on the basis of political vendetta, then there can be doubts regarding the philosophical basis of federalism in our country. The structure in that case would crumble down to its apologetic end.
After attaining independence in the year 1947, India had an option to follow either the unitary form of government, based upon the British model or the federal form of government; based upon the American model. Our country took the wise decision of modifying the features of both systems of government in order to suit its socially and politically diverse needs and maintain security and stability in the country. While a unitary government aims at establishing a strong centre, which essentially means that there would be more uniformity and decisions would be taken with lesser complications and formalities, a federal government is the answer to the problem in a large country where diversity aims at being protected along with mutual respect for the authority at the State level and the authority at the Centre, though the Centre has the final word. To quote the Centre State Relations Commission, “Federalism is not a static paradigm. It is achanging notion. The classical concept of federalism which envisaged two parallel governments of co-ordinate jurisdiction, operating in isolation from each other in water-tight compartments, is nowhere a functional reality now. With the emergence of the Social Welfare State, the traditional theory of federalism completely lost its ground. By the middle of the 20th century, federalism had come to be understood as a dynamic process of co-operation and shared action between two or more levels of government, with increasing interdependence and Centrist trends”.2 Thus, the modern day notion of federalism in the country emphasises the interdependence and mutual cooperation between the Centre and the State governments wherein the aspirations of the latter have to be in tune with the agenda of the former. In this manner, we seek to form a perfectly symmetrical skeleton of rules, one that ensures equivalence and the ideal climate for a democracy to prosper. However, in theory, this structure might encourage to some extent, the ‘blame-game’ between the Centre and States, thereby increasing the possibility for conflict between the two. Besides, giving overriding powers to the Centre may result in threatening the autonomy of the State.
In light ofthe same deliberation, the role of the Governor has to be recognized. It has important ramifications for understanding the system of governance in India, a countrywhere neither the Union has infrangible power over the States nor do the States have complete independence from the Union. The framers of our Constitution ideated the importance ofcooperation between the two. Hence, the spirit of cooperationbetween the two powers has to be recognized as the underlying efficiency of the structure of government in India. It is not surprising that the word ‘federal’ does not find any mention in the Constitution. Indeed, in the words of Livingstone: “The essential nature of federalism is to be sought for, not in the shadings of legaland constitutional terminology, but in the forces, economic, social, political, cultural – that have made the outward forms of federalism necessary. The essence of federalism lies not in the institutional or constitutional structure but in the society itself.” 3
In order to state whether theIndian democracyfollows a unitary or federalform of government, the working of the democracy needs to be closely examined. Firstly, the Indian Constitution has the Seventh Schedule which sets out the Union, State and Concurrent Lists, thereby clearly demarcating the exercise and extent of jurisdiction for the Centre and the States. These lists contain entries pertaining to all prominent needs of the country. The Union list has ninety seven entries; the State list has sixty-six, while the Concurrent list hasonly forty-seven entries. The issuesof national importancehave been entered into the Union list, the peripheral and localised issues belong to the State while the buffer zone is a part of the Concurrent list. The Concurrent list continues to be the most debated one. Secondly, there are broadly two types of government in India, i.e., the Union and the State governments. Therefore, it would be reasonable to conclude that a federal pattern of governance has been set forth in our country. However, within this framework of federalism and keeping in mind the role of a welfare State, the Constitution has given overriding powers to the Union. Whilst exercising their executive powers; the States must comply with the executive power of the Centre.4 Provisions such as appointment of Governors by the President and declaration of emergency by the Centre indicatethat ‘India has a federation with a strong centralizing tendency’.5 Thus, as a working model of democracy; it is most apt to be described as a ‘cooperative federalism’.
POST OF THE GOVERNOR
The Governor has a two-fold duty of acting as not only the constitutional head of the State, but also as a representative or an agent of the Centre. For the latter, he is required to report to the President of any breakdown of constitutional machinery in the State. Post the 42nd amendment made in the year 1976, the President is bound to appoint and remove Governors on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, which consists of the ruling party at the Centre. In the case of Shyam v. Union of India6, it was held that pleasure under Article 310 is not required to be personally exercised by the President without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.7 If the President exercised pleasure solely on his discretion, without the aid and advice of his Council of Ministers, then such an act would amount to arbitrariness, thereby leaving no scope for the implementation of rule of law. The Governor is required to report to the President of any breakdown of constitutional machinery in the State. Article 153 of the Constitution says that there shall be a Governor for every State. It also allows the appointment of same person as Governor for two or more States. In furtherance, Article 154 lays down that the executive power of the Stateshall be vested in the Governor while Article 155 clearly lays down that the Governor shall be appointed by warrant under his hand and seal by the President after the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. According to Article 156, the term of office of the Governor lasts only till the pleasure of the President and he shall hold office only till the pleasure of the President,he shallresign, only by writing, under his hand and addressedto the President and he shall hold this office for a period of five years and continue to hold his office until his successor enters upon it.8 Thus, it is essential that an important post such as that ofthe Governor must be unbiased and not subject to party politics. This necessitates that the Centre cannot dismiss a Governor solely on account of differing political ideologies between the State and itself. For instance, a change of political party at the Centre must not result in a change of Governor in a State where a different political party is in majority. This post must be completely free from any political colour and political pressures. Such acts would raise questions on the neutral and unbiased post that the Governor is supposed to hold. In the case of Union of India v. Tulsiram9, it was held that the pleasure of the President under Article 310 is not subjectto any contract and cannot be altered by contract or the rules made under Article 309 since a Governor is a civil servant as well. His tenure of office is hence to be decided only by pleasure exercised by the President.
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY DEBATES
The gubernatorial issue for the Constituent Assembly was whether the Governor should be an appointed or elected head of the State. In this regard, Article 131 of the Draft Constitution was criticallyscrutinized. In the opinion of Shri Brajeshwar Prasad, appointment was relatively a simpler procedure to be followed in theory as well as in practice when compared to the alternatives suggested by the Drafting Committee. The purpose behind involving the Centre with the appointment of the Governor was to create a close nexus between the Centre and States. The objective was that the Union must have authority over all the Indian provinces and hence, it creates a duty for the Centre to appoint a Governor who would ensure the internal security of the State. Yet, he must not ‘belong’ to that State in order to avoid ‘fissiparous tendencies’ which may arise between the Centre and the State.10
On the other hand, Mr. Mohd. Tahir believed that the Constitution envisages a parliamentary form of government for the country and he emphasized on the fact that since the Constitution envisages a parliamentary form of government, direct election was an inappropriate means of constituting the Governor of a State.This Statement can be supported with the help of sound arguments which have been enumerated below:
Firstly, the Constitution envisages that the Governor must be an impartial, constitutional head ofthe State who would oversee the affairs of the State Executive and not personally interfere in them.
Secondly, if there were a situation wherein he would be elected by the public, the Governorwould have increased tendencies to be a party man with strong political ideologies of his own.
Thirdly, if the Governor is elected, his post would be similar to that of the Chief Minister and thiswould create disruption in the promotion of political harmony between the two.
Therefore, the three considerations11 that the Constituent Assembly debated regarding the appointment of Governors were:
1. The Governor should be elected directly by the people themselves on the basis of adult suffrage.
2. The Governor should be appointed by the President from a selected panel consisting of four candidates. These candidates are to be elected by the members of the State Legislature.
3. The Governor should be appointed by the President, without constituting a selected panel of candidates.
The reason behind rejecting ‘election’ as a mode of selecting a Governor was that the Governor could not be a member ofany political party, as it would involve partialpolicies made favourable to the well-being of his party rather than that of the public at large. The intention behind creating the post of the Governor was in direct contrast to that of the Chief Minister in some ways. Hence, had the Governor been an elected head instead of a constitutional figurehead of the State, he would be in direct conflict with the post of the Chief Minister, who is the real executive head of the State. Finally, ‘election’ as a mode of selecting a Governor was rejected and the third proposal was accepted by the Constituent Assembly as being the due procedure for appointment of Governors because elections can be extremely expensive and cumbersome to conduct. Election through universal adult suffrage is hence carried out for other more “politicized” executive heads and not the post of the Governor.
DOCTRINE OF PLEASURE
The ‘Doctrine of Pleasure’ which finds its origin in England, allowed the removal of a person holding office durante bene placito12 of an authority, without any obligation to disclose any cause for the withdrawal of such pleasure. However, such a wide ambit of absolute pleasure and unfettered power does not exist in India. This doctrine does not admit into its purview the following provisions13 of the Constitution:
1. Tenure of Supreme Court judges (Article 124)
2. Tenure of High Court judges (Article 148 (2))
3. The Chief Election Commissioner (Article 324)
4. Chairman and members of Public- Service Commission (Article 317)
India is a democracy that upholds the rule of law and leaves no room for any unrestricted discretion and unaccountability. The case of Surya Narain Chaudhary v. Union of India14 was regarding the validity of the termination of the tenure of Shri RaghukulTilak, the then Governor of Rajasthan. The petitioner alleged that the tenure of ShriRaghukulTilak, who was appointed by the Janata Party regime in 1977, ended prematurely in accordance withArticle 156 (1) and that this action defeated the spirit of the Constitution.15 It was contended that the overriding importance given to Article 156 (1) over Article 156 (3) never existed before the year 1980, when all the Governors mandatorily served their full tenure of five years. The Court held that the President has the power to withdraw pleasure and terminate the tenure of the Governor, even if the latter has not completed five years in office. However the motive behind the same had to be one which was beyond a mere political force. Moreover removal of the Governor was an exception and not a part of the usual course of action.
The scope of the Doctrine of Pleasure was elaborated in the case of B.P Singhal v. Union of India & Anr.16 In this case, Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan held that the the Doctrine of Pleasure isseverely curtailed in the case of government employment.17 The Court observed that the Doctrine of Pleasure, as it existed in the feudal society of England, can be clearly distinguished from the Doctrine of Pleasure in a democracy which is subject to the rule of law. Article 311(2) provides for certain limitations on the Doctrine of Pleasure such as being given an opportunity to be heard as well as to be given reasons for their removal. In this case, it was upheld that in a democracy which is governed by the rule of law, no government can do whatever it pleases, in any manner, as it wishes because when there is a democracy bound by the rule of law, there can beabsolutely no tolerance for any kind of arbitrariness. Such an express limitation is absent in Article 156. However, a judicial interpretation of Article 156 does uphold this rule. The Court concluded that if the President has been given the discretionary power of withdrawing his pleasure to end the tenure of the Governor, he may do so without giving any reason for such discontinuance of pleasure, but it has to be done in public interest adhering to the fundamentals of constitutionalism.
The ruling party at the Centre, albeit indirectly, controls the appointment and removal of Governors in India. This principle has been elaborated in the case of Ram Jawaya Kapoor &Ors. v.State of Punjab18 wherein the court declared that the position of the Governor is that ofthe head of the executive, but it is virtually the Council of Ministers in each State who is responsible for carrying on the executive actions of the State government.19 The provision of taking aid and advice of the Council Ministers leaves no scope for an arbitrary appointment of Governors. Hence, if it is the prerogative of the President to appoint the Governor, he exercises this power only after obtaining the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers in the centre.
Thus, in all those cases where the Doctrine of Pleasure is applicable, it is implied that the fundamentals of constitutionalism are in a symbiotic relationship with it and hence, the basic structure doctrine cannot be breached.20
The Sarkaria Commission recommended that Governors cannot be removed before the completion of their five-year tenure, except in ‘rare and compelling circumstances’. The ever- present possibility of the tenure being terminated before the term of 5 years, can create considerable insecurity in the mind of the Governor and impair his capacity to withstand pressures and act impartially in the discharge of his duties.21 Besides, the Committee aimed at including the opinion of the Chief Minister ofthe State inthe removal or transfer of the Governor as is in the appointment.22 This was meant to provide Governors with a measure of security of tenure, so that theycould carryout their duties without fear or favour and theywere independent political figures, which means that removal of Governors is not the general rule. They neither have to pay personal allegiance to any political party nor live in fear of upsetting those at the Centre, as their post is independent of such political influence. If such rare and compelling circumstances do exist, the Commission said that the procedure of removal must allow the Governors an opportunity to explain their conduct, and the Central government should give fair consideration to such explanation.At the same time fair consideration does not imply arbitrary leniency in favor of the Governor during such hearing.
In appointing a Governor, the following criteria23 must be considered:
1. He should be eminent in some walk of life.
2. He should be a person from outside the State.
3. He should be a detached figure and not too intimately connected with the local politics of the State.
4. He should be a person who has not taken too great a part in politics generally, and particularly in the recent past.
The Sarkaria Commission recommends that the President is to appoint the Governor of a State only after effective consultation with the Chief Minister of that State. Such consultation is to be followed in line with a procedure which is to be prescribed by the Constitution itself.
In the wake of incidents that suggested the constitutionalambiguitysurrounding the appointment of Governors, the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission highlighted the various loopholes existing inArticle 156. To begin with, if the tenure of the Governor ends prematurely, it is to take place only in rare and compelling24 circumstances, for example:
a) Physical or mental disability;
c) Violation ofthe Constitution; and
d) Misbehaviour or behaviour unbecoming of a Governor rendering him unfit to hold the office (such as indulging in active politics or regularly addressing political rallies).
The reason why the withdrawal of pleasure by the President must be restricted to certain situations is to provide security of tenure to the Governor, the absence of which can create decisions that are biased and favourable towards the Centre. In addition, the Governor must be apprised of the grounds of his removal and given an opportunity to explain his conduct. Such a provision would ensure adherence to principles of natural justice only when the Governor’s explanation is given due regard bythe President. The President must then reconsider his decision in the light of the reasons given by the Governor. Likewise, when Governors are appointed by the President, it is very important to place adequate emphasis upon the factor of political detachment. If the Governor is someone who has recently taken part in politics or been a member of a certain political party, then policies made for the State would not be formed on the basis of favourable policies for the Union executive government or the State executive government.
The absence of security of tenure for the Governor can create decisions that are favourable towards the Centre. In addition, the Governor must be apprised of the grounds of his removal and given an opportunity to explain his conduct. Such a provision would ensure adherence to one of the principles of natural justice only when the Governor’s explanation is given due regard by the President. For the qualifications of a Governor, the Punchhi Commission suggested that the nominee should not have been involved with active politics even at the local level for at least a few years before his appointment. This implies that the appointed Governor should not be an ’eminent politician’. This report aims at criticizing the practice of treating Governors as a “political football”.25 Also, in prima facie cases of political, arbitrary, whimsical or mala fide removal of the Government, the act in question would be open to judicial review by the Court.26
Similarly, in the year 2002, the Venkatachaliah Commission recommended that ordinarily, Governors should be allowed to complete their five-year term. If they have to be removed before completion of their term, the Central government should do so only after consultation with the Chief Minister. The visionaryVenkatachaliah Report was in synchronization with the SarkariaReport and it suggested the creation of an institutional framework for the appointment of a Governor, along with a fixed tenure. It, therefore, drove at avoiding the unfortunate situation that was faced by the Governors of Rajasthan and Goa in the year 2004, solely on grounds of political affiliation.
The Commission is also of the view that the Central Government should adopt strict guidelines; as recommended in the Sarkaria report and follow its mandate in letter and spirit, lest appointments to the high Constitutional office should become a constant irritant in Centre- State relations and sometimes, an embarrassment to the Government itself. Governors should be given a fixed tenure of five years and their removal should not be at the sweet will of the Government at the Centre. The phrase “during the pleasure of the President” inArticle 156(1) should be substituted by an appropriate procedure under which a Governor who is to be reprimanded or removed for whatever reasons, is given an opportunity to defend his position and the decision is taken in a fair and dignified manner befitting a Constitutional office.
It is necessary to provide for impeachment of the Governor along the same lines as has been provided for impeachment of the President inArticle 61 of the Constitution. The dignity and independence of the office warrants such a procedure. The ‘pleasure doctrine’, coupled with the lack of anappropriate procedure for the removal of Governors, is inimical to the idea of Constitutionalism and fairness. Given the politics ofthe day, the situation can lead to unsavoury situations and arbitrariness in the exercise of power. Of course, such impeachment can only be in relation to the discharge of functions of the office of a Governor or violations of Constitutional values and principles. The procedure laid down for impeachment of President, mutatis mutandis can be made applicable for impeachment of Governors as well.
The Punchhi Commission, which was chaired by Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi, was of the opinion that it is important for the Constitution to explicitly lay down all the qualifications of a Governor. Presently, Article 157 only says that the person should be a citizen of India and must have completed 35 years of age.27 The words and expressions like “eminent”, “detached figure”, “not taken active part in politics” are capable of diverse interpretations and the ruling political parties at the Centre seem to have given short concentration to such standards. A major outcome has been the politicization of Governorship and sometimes, undeserving people being appointed to such high Constitutional posts.This practice, apart from counteracting Constitutional governance, also bestows insalubrious developments in Centre-State relations. The Commission is also of the view that the Central government must adhere to certain pragmatic rules of thumb and practiceto be followed mandatorily in appointments to high Constitutional offices; lest it turns into an incessant barrier in the Centre-State relations. The rule of law is reinforced when the removal of a Governor is on the same lines as that of the President by the Parliament.
Moreover, in the appointment of the Governor by the President and the Council of Ministers, the opinion of the Chief Minister should also be taken into consideration as it would largely reduce the scope of arbitrariness and would allow the elected party at the State level to also have a say in the appointment of the Governor. Additionally, it would also ensure that harmony exists within the State. This was supported by a recommendation ofthe National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, which says that appointment of Governor should be entrusted to a Committee comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and chief minister of the concerned State. The Vice-President should alsobe involved in the process.28
EVOLUTION AND CURRENT EVENTS
The office of the Governor has been one of the most contentious issues with respect to Centre-State relations. There have been allegations of partisan appointment of Governors by the ruling party at the Centre.The entire saga began when Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India in 1966. Today, when Congress is protesting against National Democratic Alliance’s decision to remove the Governors that had been appointed bythe United Progressive Alliance, constitutional experts believe that it is the direct consequence of Congress’s own undoing. In 1977, the Bharatiya Janata Party removed all the Governors appointed by Indira Gandhi. The then Prime Minister Morarji Desai dismissed the Governors of nineStates; which happened after President B.D Jatti refused to sign it but then was constitutionally compelled to do the same.29
This malefic act continued with full vigour till July 2004 when the then President APJ Abdul Kalam impeached Governors of fourStates namely KidarNathSahni (Goa),Kailashpati Mishra(Gujarat), BabuParmanand (Haryana) and Vishnu Kant Shastri (Uttar Pradesh), who had been appointed during the tenure of the previous government bythe National Democratic Alliance.30
It was this controversy that gave rise to the landmark judgment delivered in 2010.31 Yet, if the President is of the opinion that the appointed Governor is a political party loyalist or his decisions are politically flavoured or personally biased, then he may be removed.
Recently, the Governor of Uttarakhand, Mr. Aziz Qureshi, filed a petition before the Supreme Court of India, which entertained the question whether the constitutionally dignified post of the Governor is tarnished if the home secretary makes a phone call to the Governor asking him to resign. The petitioner contended that a mere change of guard at the Centre cannot result in the dismissal of Governors and the allowance of such an act would tantamount to tarnishing the prestigious post of the Governor. Permitting so would be disastrous to the entire constitutional structure of India. Mr. Aziz Qureshi said that if at all someone has the authority to ask him to quit, it would be the President himself.
Of late, the Modi government has appointed Governors in the States of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. Though the media questioned if these appointments had been made on the basis of political vengeance and vendetta, most of these Governors had resigned out of their own volition. Yet, the question remains whether or not their assent to resign was obtained via coercion by the ruling party at the Centre.
Bharatiya Janata Party, the partywhich took a stand against the capricious removalof Governors in the countryand is in power at the Centre today, is also responsible for removing the Governors who had been appointed by the United ProgressiveAlliance government. Despite the Supreme Court’s reiterated statement that appointment and removal of Governors can be subject to judicial review in order to uphold the philosophy of constitutionalism in the country, such acts cannot be said to be wrong, at least legally per se. If some credibility is to be given to the veracity of the various newspaper reports, the certain United Progressive Alliance appointed Governors have been telephoned; asking them to resign out of their own volition, instead of the President exercising his powers under Article 156 (3). Such acts can raise a question that we, as the citizens of India, feel compelled to ask. What vision can we, the members of the Indian democracy, have for our future where contrasting political ideologies between two or more political parties cannot exist in harmony? Are we living in an era where hegemony is being secretly patronized by those in power? In that light, can we let threatening phone calls, media judgments and political power strangle the sanctity of this post? One of the strongest reasons for using the word ‘federalism’ whilst calling our democracy a ‘cooperative federalism’ is that the autonomy of the State and the Central government gets due respect. The moment we have Governors in all the twenty-nineStates of India that belong to the same party which is in power at the Centre, we would have ample reasons to doubt the very fabric of the world’s greatest democracy.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
If one notices how the Governors have already reportedly resigned from their post, it cannot be said to be an act falling short of hypocrisy. The fate of constitutionalism is dimly lit as we continue to live in an era where hegemony is being secretly patronized by those in power. One of the strongest reasons for calling our democracya cooperative federalismis that the autonomy of the State and the Centre gets due respect by the civil society as well as governments of other nations across the globe.
Articles ofthe Constitution are skeletons in themselves and it is the judges who interpret them; as we have seen from the various judicial pronouncements made with regard to Article 156. But the numerous attempts to interpret Article 156 bring in subjectivity instead of objectivity and hence, it is a threat to the security of the post. This threat has been relaxed to a great extent by the Commission recommendations.
Though the recommendations by the Sarkaria Commission and the judgment given in the B.P. Singhal case32 are in conflict regarding the”opportunity given to the Governor to explain hismisconduct”, the inclusion of such a provision would uphold principles of natural justice, as enshrined in Article 14. The spirit of the Constitution, which can be understood from the essence of the Preamble and the complete absence of ‘audi alteram partem’33 , can invite arbitrariness in the removal of Governors. To ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice or undermining of rule of law, this bigotry needs to be replaced with a conscience of lucidity.
The appropriate procedure for removal of a Governor must include an opportunity to defend his position and the final decision must be taken in a fair and dignified manner, which would be befitting for such a Constitutional post. The post of the Governor is, in itself, one of high dignity and independence. In that sense, it is in lesser political limelight than the other executive posts. Hence, the impeachment of the Governor must be on the same grounds as is mentioned inArticle 61 with reference to the President. The ‘pleasure doctrine’ paired with the deficiency of a sound procedure for the removal of Governors is not in synchronization with the idea of constitutionalism and equity. Given the current legal scenario, such a stance can lead to an offensive state of events in the exercise of power. Of course, such impeachment is subject to the carrying out of constitutional operations or encroachments of constitutional values and rationales. Therefore, the procedure laid down for impeachment of President, mutatis mutandis should be made applicable for removal of Governors as well.34
The Doctrine of Pleasure involves discretionary power that may leave room for abuse and hence, this should be eliminated by an official Committee which would comprise the Chief Minister, Home Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Prime Minister and the Vice President.35 If the President wishes to withdraw his pleasure regarding the tenure of a Governor, the same can be communicated to an apolitical figurehead such as the Chief Justice of India and on his approval; it can be communicated to the Governor. On the other hand, if any other official who is associated with the ruling party at the Centre is given the same privilege, it may appear as if the reasons for removal of Governor are purely political in nature; thereby resulting in abuse ofArticle 156(1). Constitutional appointments to posts such as that of the Speaker of Lok Sabha and Judges of the Supreme Court have a procedure in place. The recently constituted body of the National Judicial Appointments Commission, which would be responsible for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, ensures adherence to the rule of law.The 121st amendment that has brought into existence Article 124-A, serves as an example to Articles 155 and 156, which continue to remain silent in terms of concrete procedures put in place for the appointment as well as removal of the Governors.