Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh may get away with a warning for violating the model code of conduct on “technical grounds”, with government sources stating that Singh’s remarks on Modi “winning” the 2019 general elections were made in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh – not in Rajasthan.
Officials, however, added that Singh’s remark may be classified as an act of “impropriety” while holding a constitutional post.
While a final decision on the issue will be taken by President Ram Nath Kovind, sources said the government has sought legal opinion and details of any previous instances where the speeches of a governor had violated the poll code. Singh’s comments, both electronic and in print, will also being examined, they added. The Election Commission, which referred the matter to President, has termed Singh’s remarks as violation of the model code of conduct.
“There is no fixed time for the Home Ministry to respond but we are trying to complete the inquiry at the earliest,” said a senior government official.
The Home Ministry is the administrative authority for governors, who serve as per the “pleasure of the President” under Article 156 of the Constitution.
Government sources said the Home Ministry may urge the President to intervene into the matter in order to ensure that such action are not repeated by any other governor in future.
When contacted, a Home Ministry spokesperson declined to comment.
Under Article 361 of the Constitution, the Governor or Rajpramukh of a state enjoys immunity and is not answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties.
Legal experts, however, argue that Article 361 is designed to protect the high office of the Governor, not the person occupying it.