Ashna Sisodia is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Course: The Union (Part V Lesson: Council of Ministers Presented by : Ashna Sisodia
Responsibility of Ministers 1. Collective Responsibility .2. Individual Responsibility . 3. No Legal Responsibility
Collective Responsibility The fundamental principle underlying the working of parliamentary system of government is the principle of collective responsibility. Article 75 clearly states that the council of ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. This means that all the ministers own joint responsibility to the Lok Sabha for all their acts of omission and commission They work as a team and swim or sink together. . When the Lok Sabha passes a no-confidence motion against the council of ministers, all the ministers have to resign including those ministers who are from the Rajya Sabha. Alternatively, the council of ministers can advise the president to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the ground that the House does not represent the views of the electorate faithfully and call for fresh elections. .The President may not oblige the council of ministers that has lost the confidence of the Lok Sabha
Collective Responsibility . The principle of collective responsibility also means that the Cabinet decisions bind all cabinet ministers (and other ministers) even if they differed in the cabinet meeting. It is the duty of every minister to stand by cabinet decisions and support them both It is the duty of every minister to stand by cabinet decisions and support them both . within and outside the Parliament. If any minister disagrees with a cabinet decision and is not prepared to defend it, he . I ministers have resigned in the past owing to their differences with the cabinet. For example, Dr BR Ambedkar resigned because of his differences with his colleagues on the Hindu Code Bill in 1953 CD Deshmukh resigned due to his differences on the policy of reorganisation of states. Arif Mohammed resigned due to his opposition to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. .
Individual Responsibility Article 75 also contains the principle of individual responsibility. It states that the ministers hold office during the pleasure of the president, which means that the President can remove a minister even at a time when the council of ministers enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha. However, the President removes a minister only on the advice of the Prime Minister In case of a difference of opinion or dissatisfaction with the performance of a minister, the Prime Minister can ask him to resign or advice the President to dismiss him By exercising this power, the Prime Minister can ensure the realisation of the rule of collective responsibility.
No Legal Responsibility In Britain, every order of the King for any public act is countersigned by a minister. If the order is in violation of any law, the minister would be held responsible and would be liable in the court. The legally accepted phrase in Britain is, "The king can do no wrong." Hence, he cannot be sued in any court. In India, there is no provision in the Constitution for the system of legal responsibility of a minister. It is not required that an order of the President for a public act should be countersigned by a minister. Moreover, the courts are barred from enquiring into the nature of advice rendered by the ministers to the president.
Composition of Council of Ministers The council of ministers consists of three categories of ministers, namely, cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers. The difference between them lies in their respective ranks, emoluments, and political importance. At the top of all these ministers stands the Prime Minister-the supreme governing authority of the country. . The cabinet ministers head the important ministries of the Central government like home, defence, finance, external affairs and so forth. They are members of the cabinet, attend its meetings and play an important role in deciding policies. Thus, their responsibilities extend over the entire gamut of Central government.
Composition of Council of Ministers . The ministers of state can either be given independent charge of . In case of attachment, they may either be given the charge of departments of the In both the cases, they work under the supervision and guidance as well as under the ministries/departments or can be attached to cabinet ministers. ministries headed by the cabinet ministers or allotted specific items of work related to the ministries headed by cabinet ministers overall charge and responsibility of the cabinet ministers. In case of independent charge, they perform the same functions and exercise the same powers in relation to their ministries/departments as cabinet ministers do. However, they are not members of the cabinet and do not attend the cabinet meetings unless specially invited when something related to their ministries/departments are considered by the cabinet. .
Composition of Council of Ministers Next in rank are the deputy ministers. They are not given independent charge of ministries/departments They are attached to the cabinet ministers or ministers of state and assist them in their administrative, political, and parliamentary duties. . They are not members of the cabinet and do not attend cabinet meetings. It must also be mentioned here that there is one more category of ministers, called parliamentary secretaries. They are the members of the last category of the council of ministers (which is also known as the 'ministry'). They have no department under their control. They are attached to the senior ministers and assist them in the discharge of their parliamentary duties. However, since 1967, no parliamentary secretaries have been appointed except during the first phase of Rajiv Gandhi Government. Theyame the members f the lastatery of the councilof ministers (whichis aiso . .
Composition of Council of Ministers At times, the council of ministers may also include a deputy prime minister. Thus Sardar Patel in Pandit Nehru's ministry, Morarji Desai in the Indira Gandhi's Ministry, Charan Singh in the Morarji Desai's ministry, Jagjivan Ram in the Charan Singh's ministry, Devi Lal in the VP Singh's ministry and L.K. Advani in the AB Vajpayee's ministry served as deputy prime ministers. . At times, the council of ministers may also include a deputy prime . The deputy prime ministers are appointed mostly for political reasons.