Ashna Sisodia is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Course: The Union (Part V Lesson: Council of Ministers Presented by : Ashna Sisodia
Introduction parliamentary system of government modelled on the British pattern. the council of ministers headed by the prime minister is the real The principles of parliamentary system of government are not detailed Articles (74 and 75) deal with them in a broad, sketchy and general executive authority is our politico-administrative system. in the Constitution. manner. Article 74 deals with the status of the council of ministers. Article 75 deals with the appointment, tenure, responsibility, qualification, oath and salaries and allowances of the ministers.
Constitutional Provisions Article 74-Council of Ministers to aid and advise President . 1. There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice . However, the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration. . 2. The advice tendered by Ministers to the President shall not be inquired into in any court.
Constitutional Provisions Article 75-Other Provisions as to Ministers 1. The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. 2. The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha. The provision was added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003 3. A member of either house of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister. This provision was also added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003.
Constitutional Provisions 4. The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. 5. The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha 6. The President shall administer the oaths of office and secrecy to a minister. . 7. A minister who is not a member of the Parliament (either house) for any period of six consecutive months shall cease to be a minister. .8. The salaries and allowances of ministers shall be determined by the Parliament.
Constitutional Provisions Article 77-Conduct of Business of the Government of India 1. All executive action of the Government of India shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the President. . . 2. Orders and other instruments made and executed in the name of the President shall be authenticated in such manner as may be specified in rules to be made by the President. Further, the validity of an order or instrument which is so authenticated shall not be called in question on the ground that it is not an order or instrument made or executed by the President. 3. The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.
Constitutional Provisions Article 78-Duties of Prime Minister It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister 1. To communicate to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation 2. To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for . 3. If the President so requires, to submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council.
Nature of Advice by Ministers Article 74 provides for a council of ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions. .The 42nd and 44th Constitutional Amendment Acts have made the advice binding on the President. .Further, the nature of advice tendered by ministers to the President cannot be enquired by any court. .In 1971, the Supreme Court held that 'even after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers does not cease to hold office. Article 74 is mandatory and, therefore, the president cannot exercise the executive power without the aid and advise of the council of ministers. .Any exercise of executive power without the aid and advice will be unconstitutional as being violative of Article 74 Again in 1974, the court held that 'wherever the Constitution requires the satisfaction of the President, the satisfaction is not the personal satisfaction of the President but it is the satisfaction of the council of ministers with whose aid and on whose advice the President exercises his powers and functions'
Appointment of Ministers .The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, while the other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. This means that the President can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Prime minister. Usually, the members of Parliament, either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, are appointed as ministers. A person who is not a member of either House of Parliament can also be appointed as a minister. But, within six months, he must become a member (either by election or by nomination) of either House of Parliament, otherwise, he ceases to be a minister. .A minister who is a member of one House of Parliament has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of the other House also, but he can vote only in the House of which he is a member.
Oath Before a minister enters upon his office, the president administers to him the oaths of office and secrecy. In his oath of office, the minister swears: 1. to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India, 2. to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, 3. to faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of his office, and 4. to do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. In his oath of secrecy, the minister swears that he will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person(s) any matter that is brought under his consideration or becomes known to him as a Union minister except as may be required for the due discharge of his duties as such minister. .
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.