Governor of Himachal Pradesh and Their Duties

The Government of Himachal Pradesh, also known as the State Government, is the highest governing body of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is comprised of three branches: the executive branch, headed by the Governor of Himachal Pradesh; the judiciary; and the legislative branch.

Similar to other states in India, the head of state of Himachal Pradesh is the Governor who is appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Central government. The Governor's post is primarily ceremonial.

Governor of Himachal Pradesh

The Governor of Himachal Pradesh plays an essential role as the Constitutional Head of the state. The Governor, appointed by the President of India, is at the helm of the executive branch. Though the Governor's position is largely ceremonial, he/she wields powers defined in the Constitution of India. Additionally, the Governor serves as the ex-officio Chancellor of universities in the State.

Historical Perspective

Shri S Chakravarti, ICS, served as the first Governor of Himachal Pradesh in 1971, paving the way for subsequent leaders like Acharya Dev Vrat and the current Governor, Shiv Pratap Shukla.

Role of Governor

The Governor plays an essential role in a state, similar to the President's role in the republic. Even though the Governor is the nominal head of the state, the Chief Minister is the executive head. All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the Governor, but in reality, the Governor only gives his or her consent to various executive actions. The Governor does not make any significant decisions, and the real power in the executive dealings of a state rests with the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.

The Governor's Secretariat provides secretarial assistance to the Governor in fulfilling his or her constitutional, ceremonial, and other state responsibilities and duties as the Chancellor of universities in the state. The Secretary to the Governor heads the Governor's Secretariat, who is assisted by a team of officers and staff according to the organization's details. The Governor's Secretariat comprises the Secretariat and Household establishments, and it is located at Raj Bhavan..

Powers of the Governor

The Governor of Himachal Pradesh has executive, financial and legislative powers. The legislative branch comprises the Governor and the Legislative Assembly, which is the highest political organ in the state. The Governor plays a pivotal role in the legislative process and has the power to summon and dissolve the assembly. The assembly consists of 68 elected members who pass laws and rules crucial for the state's governance every five years.

Legislative Powers

  • As part of the State Legislature, the Governor has formal powers that include addressing and sending messages, summoning, deferring and dissolving the State Legislature, just like the President in respect to the Parliament. However, in reality, the Governor must be guided by the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers before making such decisions.
  • The Governor inaugurates the state legislature and the first session of each year by addressing the Assembly and outlining the new administrative policies of the ruling government. The Governor also lays before the State Legislature the annual financial statement and makes demands for grants and recommendation of ‘Money Bills’. The Governor constitutes the State Finance Commission and has the power to make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the State in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  • All bills passed by the Legislative Assembly become a law only after the Governor approves them. If a bill is not a money bill, the Governor holds the right to send it back to the Vidhan Sabha for reconsideration. However, if the Vidhan Sabha sends back the Bill to the Governor the second time, then he has to sign it.
  • The Governor also has the power to promulgate an ordinance when the Legislative Assembly is not in session, and a law has to be brought into effect immediately. However, the ordinance is presented in the state legislature in the next session and remains operative for a total of six weeks unless it is approved by the legislature.
  • Under Article 371(2) of the Constitution, the Governor of Himachal Pradesh has a special responsibility for the development of various regions of the state, and under Schedule V of the Constitution, the Governor is responsible for the administration of scheduled areas.

Judicial Powers

  • The Governor of a state in India has several powers related to the judiciary. They can grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishments, as well as suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of an offence against the law. 
  • Additionally, the Governor is consulted by the President of India in the appointment of the Chief Justice to the High Court of that particular state. 
  • In the event that no political party wins a majority in the Vidhan Sabha of the state, the Governor holds the power to use their discretion to select the Chief Minister.

Emergency Powers

  • If no political party gains a majority in the Vidhan Sabha of a state, the Governor has the power to select the Chief Minister using his discretion. 
  • The Governor must inform the President of any emergency situation that arises in the state, and if necessary, impose 'President's Rule' on behalf of the President. In such circumstances, the Governor can override the advice or actions of the Council of Ministers and directly handle the workings of the state.

Eligibility Criteria

As per the Indian Constitution, the following are the eligibility criteria for appointing a Governor in a state:

- The person must be a citizen of India.

- The person should have completed 35 years of age.

- The person must not hold any other office of profit.

- The person must not be a member of the Legislature of the Union or of any other state.

It is important to note that a Governor can be selected from among the members of the Legislature, but that person must cease to be a Member of the Legislature immediately upon appointment as Governor.

Selection Process of the Governor

The Governor of a state is not elected through direct or indirect voting like the Chief Minister, Prime Minister, or President. Instead, the President of India appoints the Governor directly for a fixed term of five years. The Governor is required to meet all the eligibility criteria listed above to be eligible for the appointment by the President.

Duty Term of the Governor

In India, a state governor is appointed for a term of five years. However, the President, who holds the power to dismiss the Governor, can terminate the term earlier if 

There is a gross violation of the Constitution or if the Governor is involved in corruption or bribery. The Prime Minister advises the President on such matters. 

The Governor can also resign from the post at any time, and there is no retirement age for the position. Unlike a President, there is no provision for impeaching a Governor from office.

The Residence of the Governor

The Governor's Residence is a designated place where the Governor of a particular state in India is entitled to reside during their term of office. Just like the President of India who resides in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, each state has a Raj Bhavan that is allotted to the Governor and their family. However, the Governor must vacate the Raj Bhavan after their term of office expires.

List of governors of Himachal Pradesh

This is a list of governors who have served in Himachal Pradesh. Sh. Shiv Pratap Shukla is the current governor, serving as the 22nd governor (31st if governors with additional charge are also counted) of Himachal Pradesh since February 2023. Out of the 21 regular governors of the state, except for the current one, only three have been able to complete their full terms: S. Chakravarti (1971–77), Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje (2003–08), and Urmila Singh (2010–15).

Lieutenant governors of Himachal Pradesh



Took office

Left office


Maj. Gen. K. S. Himmatsinhji (retd.)

1 March 1952

31 December 1954


Raja Bajrang Bahadur Singh of Bhadri

1 January 1955

13 August 1963


Sh. Bhagawan Sahay

14 August 1963

25 February 1966


Sh. V. Viswanathan, ICS (retd.)

26 February 1966

6 May 1967


Sh. Om Parkash

7 May 1967

15 May 1967


Lt. Gen. K. Bhadur Singh (retd.)

16 May 1967

24 January 1971

Governors of Himachal Pradesh



Took office

Left office


Sh. S. Chakravarti

25 January 1971

16 February 1977


Sh. Amin ud-din Ahmad Khan

17 February 1977

25 August 1981


Sh. A. K. Banerjee

26 August 1981

15 April 1983


Sh. Hokishe Sema

16 April 1983

7 March 1986

Justice Prabodh Dinkarrao Desai (addl. charge)

8 March 1986

16 April 1986


Vice Admiral R. K. S. Gandhi

17 April 1986

15 February 1990

Sh. S. M. H. Burney (addl. Charge)

2 December 1987

10 January 1988

Sh. H. A. Brari (addl. charge)

20 December 1989

12 January 1990


Sh. B. Rachaiah

16 February 1990

19 December 1990


Sh. Virendra Verma

20 December 1990

29 January 1993

Sh. Surendra Nath (addl. charge)

30 January 1993

10 December 1993


Sh. Bali Ram Bhagat

11 February 1993

29 June 1993


Sh. Gulsher Ahmad

30 June 1993

26 November 1993

Sh. Surendra Nath (addl. charge)

27 November 1993

9 July 1994

Justice Viswanathan Ratnam (addl. charge)

10 July 1994

30 July 1994


Sh. Sudhakarrao Naik

30 July 1994

17 September 1995

Sh. Mahabir Prasad (addl. charge)

18 September 1995

16 November 1995


Smt. Sheila Kaul

17 November 1995

22 April 1996

Sh. Mahabir Prasad (addl. charge)

23 April 1996

25 July 1997


Smt. V. S. Ramadevi

26 July 1997

1 December 1999


Sh. Vishnu Kant Shastri

2 December 1999

23 November 2000


Sh. Suraj Bhan

23 November 2000

7 May 2003


Justice (Retd.) Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje

8 May 2003

19 July 2008


Prabha Rau

19 July 2008

24 January 2010


Urmila Singh

25 January 2010

24 January 2015

Kalyan Singh (addl. charge)

28 January 2015

12 August 2015


Acharya Devvrat

12 August 2015

21 July 2019


Kalraj Mishra

22 July 2019

10 September 2019


Bandaru Dattatreya

11 September 2019

13 July 2021


Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar

13 July 2021

13 February 2023


Shiv Pratap Shukla

13 February 2023


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