Petition to Recall Governor Gavin Newsom
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The Constitutional position on the removal of the Governor is that a Governor of a state is an appointee of the President, and he or she holds office “during the pleasure of the President” (Article 155 and 156). If the Governor continues to enjoy the pleasure of the President, s/he can have a normal term of five years. Now ,the President is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers under Article 74, so it is the central government which appoints or removes the Governor.
The Supreme Court interpreted the constitutional provisions in the B. P. Singhal vs Union of India and laid down some binding guidelines:
The President, in effect the central government, has the power to remove a Governor at any time without giving him or her any reason, and without granting an opportunity to be heard.
However, this power cannot be exercised in an arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner. The power of removing Governors should only be exercised in rare and exceptional circumstances for valid and compelling reasons.
The mere reason that a Governor is at variance with the policies and ideologies of the central government, or that the central government has lost confidence in him or her, is not sufficient to remove a Governor. Thus, a change in central government cannot be a ground for removal of Governors, or to appoint more favorable persons to this post.
A decision to remove a Governor can be challenged in a court of law. In such cases, first the petitioner will have to make a prima facie case of arbitrariness or bad faith on part of the central government. If a prima facie case is established, the court can require the central government to produce the materials on the basis of which the decision was made in order to verify the presence of compelling reasons.
But, we recently have seen these guidelines being violated and it has happened time and again.