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STATE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

STATE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

BACKGROUND

  • Portfolio system was started by Lord Canning in Indian Councils Act 1861.
  • In the United Kingdom – the Council of Ministers is the real executive which is left on the convention.
  • In India – the System of Council of Ministers is codified and mentioned in Indian Constitution.

In S.R. Chauhan vs State of Punjab (2001), Supreme Court held that a non-member cannot be re-appointed without being elected. However, a Non-member can also become a part of council of minister for maximum of 6 months.

  • As the Constitution of India provides for a Parliamentary system of government in the states on the Union pattern, the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister is the real (De-facto) executive authority is our politico-administrative system of state.
  • The council of ministers in the states is constituted and function in the same way as the council of ministers at the Centre.
  • The principles of the Parliamentary system of government are not provided in detail in the Constitution. However two Articles i.e. 163 and 164 in Part VI dealt with them in a broad, sketchy and general manner.
  • Every Minister is responsible for the acts of the officers of his department. He has to answer questions regarding the affair of his department in the Assembly.

How are the Council of Ministers Appointed?

They are appointed by the governor on the advice of the CM. Governor also appoints a tribal affairs minister for the following states:

  1. Chhattisgarh
  2. Jharkhand
  3. Madhya Pradesh
  4. Odisha

Note: Bihar was also one of the states to have tribal affairs minister, however, 94th Amendment Act 2006 freed Bihar from this obligation.

Info-bits related to Council of Ministers in States

  1. President of India does not have existence without council of ministers, but Governor has (at the time of President’s rule).
  2. The minimum strength of council of ministers in a state as per Constitution is 12 and maximum is 15 percent of Legislative Assembly.
  3. Oaths for ministers : oaths of office and of secrecy.
  4. The Governor has discretionary powers and the validity of acts done using the discretionary powers cannot be questioned.

CONSIDERATION IN CONSTITUTING THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

  • Minister from different regions to enhance regional representation of Council of Ministers.
  • Representation of communities, caste, women, coalition
  • Capability of Ministers to dealt with various tasks
  • Age factor – young and dynamic personality along with adequate experience.
  • He should be a good administer and decision maker
  • Visionary and optimistic with futuristic attitude
  • A non-corrupt and a high moral standards.

NATURE OF ADVICE BY MINISTERS

  • The nature of advice tendered by ministers to the Governor  cannot be enquired by any court.
  • This provision emphasises the intimate and the confidential relationship between the governor and the ministers.

The Indian courts are barred from inquiring into the nature of advice rendered by the ministers to the Governor.

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Indian Polity

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