Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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The vice cm is also a minister, a position that is not unconstitutional: Supreme Court – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said the appointment of deputy chief ministers was not unconstitutional even though the post is not mentioned or defined in the Constitution, in a ruling that validated the political class’s improvisation to balance social equations. and factional, as well as to appease individual ambitions.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra refused to consider a PIL filed by the ‘Public Political Party’, which had questioned the constitutional validity of the practice of simply appointing deputy CMs to placate senior leaders and maintain the ruling coalition. together, or to maintain caste and religious equations. From the judge’s stand, observing the proceedings was Judge Hillary Charlesworth, judge of the International Court of Justice.

The CJI said, “Even if someone is given the post of deputy CM, for all practical purposes, he remains a minister in the council of ministers headed by the CM. Deputy CMs do not receive higher salaries or perks compared to other ministers. They may be treated a little higher in official circles.”

Dismissing the PIL, the court underlined that despite their “more than equal” position, the deputy CMs took oath as mere ministers. “Firstly, a deputy CM is a government minister. The appointment of a deputy CM does not violate the constitutional provisions. Any unelected person, appointed as deputy CM, must be elected member of the assembly within the stipulated period of six months “.

At present, there are 26 deputy CMs in 14 states. Andhra Pradesh tops the list with five deputy CMs, followed by UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Nagaland with two each.

Interestingly, Devi Lal, who served as deputy to two prime ministers during 1989-1991, took the oath as “… I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as ‘deputy prime minister'”, and not as per the text: “… . conscientiously discharge my duties as a Union Minister.” The challenge led one KM Sharma to question both the oath and the creation of the position of deputy premier in South Carolina.

On January 9, 1990, SC dismissed Sharma’s petition and said: “Devi Lal is simply a minister like other members of the council of ministers, although he has been described as deputy chief minister. The description of him as deputy chief minister does not confer any power of prime minister. It cannot, therefore, be said that the oath sworn to him as deputy prime minister was not the oath in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.”



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