Trace Your Case


Shamsher Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 1974 SC 2192


  • Can the Governor exercise discretion on appointing and removing members of the Subordinate Judicial Service?
  • Whether the constitutional requirement of the satisfaction of the President/Governor mean his satisfaction?


  • The satisfaction required by the Constitution of India is not the personal satisfaction of the President or Governor but the satisfaction of the President or Governor in the constitutional sense in the Cabinet system of the Government, that is, the satisfaction of his Council of Ministers.


  • The present case is based on the two appeals from the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  • The appellants in the present case had joined the Public Civil Service.
  • However, both of them were kept on probation.
  • On 27 April 1967, an order made by the Government of Punjab in the name of Governor Shamsher Singh was terminated without any reason.
  • On 15 December, 1969 the other appellant Ishwar Chand Aggarwal was terminated from his services due to the Government’s suggestions by the High Court in the name of the Governor.


  • The Appellant Shamsher Singh was a Subordinate Judge on probation. His services were terminated by the Government of Punjab in the name of the Governor of Punjab by an order that gave no reasons for the termination.
  • Likewise, the services of Ishwar Chand Agarwal were also terminated by the Government of Punjab in the name of the Governor on the recommendation of the High Court.
  • The Supreme Court unequivocally reiterated the settled legal position that the President/Governor is only the constitutional head, the real power is vested in the Council of Ministers on whose aid and advice the President/Governor exercises his powers and functions.
  • In Constitutional Law, the ‘functions’ of the President and Governor and the ‘business’ of Government belong to the Ministers and not to the Head of State, the ‘aid and advice’ of Ministers are terms of art which in the law mean, in the Cabinet context of our constitutional scheme, that the aider acts and the advisor decides in his authority and not subject to the power of President to accept or reject such action or decision, except, in the case of Governors, to the limited extent that Article 163 permits and his discretion, remote controlled by the Centre has played. The judgment overruled the case of Sardari Lal v. Union of India.