UPSC Current Affairs

Governor – Doctrine of Pleasure

Doctrine of Pleasure Ekam IAS

Governor – Doctrine of Pleasure


  • Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has said that, Ministers that lower the dignity of the office of the Governor can invite action including withdrawal of pleasure”.
  • The pleasure doctrine is a concept derived from English common law, under which the crown can dispense with the services of anyone in its employ at any time.
  • In India, Article 310 of the Constitution says every person in the defence or civil service of the Union holds office during the pleasure of the President, and every member of the civil service in the States holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • However, Article 311 imposes restrictions on the removal of a civil servant. It provides for civil servants being given a reasonable opportunity for a hearing on the charges against them.
  • Under Article 164, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor; and the other Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the CM’s advice.
  • It adds that Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • The pleasure doctrine exists only in a constitutional sense, and is exercised by the Governor only on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  • In other words, the term ‘pleasure of the Governor’ is used as an indirect word to refer to the Chief Minister’s power to drop a Minister from the Council of Ministers.
  • The Doctrine is subject to constitutional limitations.
  • If the constitution has provided specific provision regarding the tenure of a servant’s office, then that servant would be excluded from the operation of the pleasure doctrine.
  • The following are expressly excluded by the Constitution from the rule of Pleasure.
  1. Supreme Court Judges (Article 124)
  2. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Article 148)
  3. High Court Judges (Article 217, 218)
  4. Election Commission (Article 324)
  5. It is also subject to Fundamental Rights
UPSC Prelims Model Question

Q. Which of the following offices are not excluded from the “doctrine of pleasure”?

  1. Office of Governor
  2. Election Commission
  3. Judges of supreme court
  4. Civil servants

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1 and 4 only

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