Recently, Kerala's governor threatened to sack ministers.
Can he really do that without the CM's "advice"?

I have this doubt because office of the governor is not a democratically elected position, a governor is supposed to be a figurehead (like a constitutional monarch). If he has such sweeping powers, that's weird.

Article 164 of the Constitution of India says:

the Ministers (in the state council of ministers) shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor

But before that it says:

The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister

Also, a minister is responsible to the assembly and not the governor:

The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

An alternative could be "Governor sacks ministers; CM asks governor to re-appoint them" - but this could lead to a deadlock if carried on in an infinite loop.

In case it is ambiguous in the constitution/law itself, is there any precedent set by any previous governor, President, or the Supreme Court in this matter? Or, what do other federal countries do in such cases?

  • 1
    Just because approval is needed for appointing a minister/cabinet member, doesn't mean that approval is needed to dismiss them - this is certainly the case in the US cabinet.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 25, 2022 at 13:02
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    Also, baring an explicit mention to the contrary, I wouldn't read into the statement "The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State" that such ministers, individually or collectively are not also responsible to the Governor, especially seeing as their tenure in said positions is limited to said Governor's pleasure. Also, unless there is a section stating differently, it also seems to me that the Chief Minister also serves at the pleasure of the Governor, and has no advice requirement for appointment.
    – sharur
    Oct 25, 2022 at 15:47


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