A governor holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office. However, this term of five years is subject to the pleasure of the President. Further, he can resign at any time by addressing a resignation letter to the President.
The Supreme Court held that the pleasure of the President is not justifiable. The governor has no security of tenure and no fixed term of office. He may be removed by the President at any time.
The Constitution does not lay down any grounds upon which a governor may be removed by the President. Hence, the National Front Government headed by V P Singh (1989) asked all the governors to resign as they were appointed by the Congress government. Eventually, some of the governors were replaced and some were allowed to continue. The same thing was repeated in 1991, when the Congress Government headed by P V Narasimha Rao changed fourteen governors appointed by the V P Singh and Chandra Sekhar governments.
The President may transfer a Governor appointed to one state to another state for the rest of the term. Further, a Governor whose term has expired may be reappointed in the same state or any other state.
A governor can hold office beyond his term of five years until his successor assumes charge. The underlying idea is that there must be a governor in the state and there cannot be an interregnum.
The President can make such provision as he thinks fit for the discharge of the functions of the governor in any contingency not provided for in the Constitution, for example, the death of a sitting governor. Thus, the chief justice of the concerned state high court may be appointed temporarily to discharge the functions of the governor of that state.