Dec. 28, 2020

Kerala Governor has turned down a request by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to summon a special sitting of the Assembly to debate the new three central farm laws. This raises questions on the role of a Governor and the contours of the powers he or she has under the Constitution.

Who can summon a session of the Assembly?

  • According to Article 174 of the Constitution “The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit” .

  • The provision also puts on the Governor the responsibility of ensuring that the House is summoned at least once every six months.

  • Although it is the Governor’s prerogative to summon the House, according to Article 163, the Governor is required to act on the “aid and advice” of the Cabinet.

  • So when the Governor summons the House under Article 174, this is not of his or her own will but on the aid and advice of the Cabinet.