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Governor's discretion cannot be arbitrary or fanciful: SC Constitution Bench

Governor's discretion cannot be arbitrary or fanciful: SC Constitution Bench

The controversy arose in the light of Karnataka governor appointing V P Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker.

The core constitutional issue behind the Congress party's challenge is whether the appointment of V.P. Bopaiah by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala is an “arbitrary” use of gubernatorial discretion.

What Constitution says? 

Article 180 (1) of the Constitution gives the Governor the power to appoint a pro-tem Speaker. The Article says that if the chair of the Speaker falls vacant and there is no Deputy Speaker to fill the position, the duties of the office shall be performed “by such member of the Assembly as the Governor may appoint for the purpose”.What Constitution says

But the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court led by then Chief Justice J.S. Khehar in the Nabam Rebia judgement of 2016 ruled that Article 163 does not give Governors a “general discretionary power” as is often misunderstood.

The area for the exercise of his (Governor) discretion is limited. Even this limited area, his choice of action should not be arbitrary or fanciful. It must be a choice dictated by reason, actuated by good faith and tempered by caution,” the Constitution Bench, of which the current Chief Justice Dipak Misra was a part of, held.

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