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Hearing the plea on requesting the Centre to recall Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit for not taking any decision on the recommendations of the State Cabinet's 2018 to release all the convicts in the assassination case of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the court said the plea is not maintainable.
The petition was dismissed by Justices M.Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha filed by M.Kannadasan on behalf of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam saying that a court of law is not empowered to issue a direction as the Constitution states that a Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
While quashing the plea, the judges have mentioned Article 156 talks about the office term of the Governor. The article states that a Governor would hold office during the pleasure of the President or until he/she resigns his post though the tenure as such for those holding the constitutional post would be for five years or until a successor enters the office.
Mentioning the apex court's verdict on the B.P.Singhal versus Union of India(2010) case, the judges said: "A Governor is neither an employee nor an agent of the Union Government... Like the President, Governors are expected to be apolitical, discharging purely constitutional functions, irrespective of their earlier political background.
"Governors cannot be politically active. Reputed elder statesmen, able administrators and eminent personalities with maturity and experience are expected to be appointed as Governors. While some of them may come from a political background, once they are appointed as Governors, they owe their allegiance and loyalty to the Constitution and not to any political party."
"A Governor cannot be removed on the ground that he is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union Government or the party in power at the Centre. Governors need not be in sync with the policies of the Union Government. They are not required to subscribe to the ideology of the party in power at the Centre," the apex court added.