SUMMONING OF ASSEMBLY (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Polity)

News-CRUX-10     22nd August 2023        

Context: The 60-member Manipur Assembly failed to hold a Special Session to discuss the ongoing ethnic violence as the Raj Bhavan did not issue any notification to convene it despite a recommendation from the State Cabinet. 

  • The State Cabinet had recommended to Governor the summoning of the fourth session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 21. 
  • The last session of the State Assembly was adjourned sine die in March, more than a month before the ethnic clashes between the tribal Kuki and the non-tribal Meitei communities started on May 3.

Summoning of assembly

  • Article 174 of the Constitution: The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit.
    • Article 174 (2) (a) says a governor may from “time to time” prorogue the House and 174 (2) (b) allows her or him to dissolve the Legislative Assembly.
  • Article 163: Although it is the Governor’s prerogative to summon the House, the Governor is required to act on the “aid and advice” of the Cabinet.
    • So, when the Governor summons the House under Article 174, this is not of his or her own will but on the aid and advice of the Cabinet.
    • The Constitution permits the Governor to summon the House on recommendation of the Cabinet.
    • But it also adds that she or he would not need their advice if the Constitution requires her or him to carry out any function at her/his discretion.