Like the Governor, Chief Minister and Advocate General , the State Council of Ministers is also a part of the State Executive. The Chief Minister is its chairman.
In this article, we will discuss the State Council of Ministers in a simple and easy way and try to understand its various important aspects. So to understand well, definitely read this article completely and also read other related articles.
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Before reading this article, at least you must read the article of the Chief Minister. Because both the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers are related to each other. That is, the chief minister is the head of the council of ministers. In the constitution, the constitution of both is given in the same article.
| State council of ministers
The principles of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers have not been explained in detail in the Constitution, but some general provisions have been discussed in two articles 163 and 164. As per Article 163 , there will be a Council of Ministers in the state which will be headed by the Chief Minister. Whereas , according to Article 164, the Governor will appoint ministers on the recommendation of the Chief Minister.
Under Article 164 we read above that the appointment of ministers shall be made by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. But the point to be kept in mind here is that generally the Governor appoints the same person as a minister who is a member of either the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council.
A person can be appointed a minister even if he is not a member of the legislature, but only for six months. It is mandatory for him to become a member of the legislature within six months, if he is not made, then his ministerial office ends.
Apart from this, there are some other provisions such as – 1. The maximum number of ministers including the Chief Minister in the states shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly but the minimum number of ministers including the Chief Minister in the states shall not be less than 12. This provision has been added by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2003.
2. If a member of either House of the State Legislature is disqualified for membership on the ground of defection, then such member shall also be disqualified from the post of Minister. This provision has also been added by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2003.
3. Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
4. The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly. Let us understand what this means further because it is very important.
some other constitutional provisions
We have also seen Article 163 above, according to which there shall be a Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister to advise and assist the Governor. What is important to know here is that the Governor also has his discretion, so the Council of Ministers can give advice or assist only on those matters which the Governor cannot do according to his discretion.
Whatever act the Governor can do in his discretion, it cannot be questioned in the court on the ground whether he ought to have acted in his discretion or not. Along with this, the question will also not be inquired into in any court as to what advice the ministers gave to the Governor, and why.
In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled that there would always be a Council of Ministers to advise the Governor, i.e. if the State Legislature is dissolved or the Council of Ministers has resigned, the present Ministry continues to function till the new successor Ministry is formed. Overall, the satisfaction of the Council of Ministers is the satisfaction of the Governor.
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Oaths and Salaries of Ministers
The ministers are administered the oath of office and secrecy by the governor before assuming their office. A minister says in his oath –
1. I shall have true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India 2. I shall uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India 3. I shall discharge my duties faithfully and with a pure conscience 4. I shall without fear or favour, affection or malice I will do justice to all types of people according to the constitution and law.
As regards confidentiality, the Minister takes an oath that- Any matter which shall be brought to my notice or shall be known to me as a Minister of State, shall be passed on to any person or persons except when so done for the due discharge of his duties as such Minister. required to do so, I will not communicate or disclose, directly or indirectly.
The salary and allowances of the ministers are fixed by the state legislature from time to time. That is why the salary and allowances of ministers of all the states can be different. Usually a minister receives salary and allowances equal to the salary of a member of the state legislature. Along with this, he receives expenditure allowance, free residence according to the post, traveling allowance, medical allowance etc.
| So far we have mainly discussed Article 163 and Article 164 but apart from this there are some other articles related to the Council of Ministers such as Article 166, Article 167 and Article 177. Let us understand this also.
Article 166 – deals with the conduct of proceedings by the Governor of a State. The following are its provisions.
1. All executive proceedings of the Government shall be expressed in the name of the Governor only.
According to the rules specified by the Governor, the orders and other documents prepared and executed in the name of the Governor will be given effect.
If so done, the validity of such order or document shall not be questioned on the ground that such order or document has not been made or carried out by the Governor.
3. Rules shall be made by the Governor for facilitating the proceedings of the State Government and for their allocation among the Ministers.
Article 167 – deals with the duties of the Chief Minister. Which was also read in the Chief Minister’s article. Let’s have a look here too.
It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister of each state to:-
1. He informs the Governor about all the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers in matters relating to the administration of the State and proposals for legislation.
2. The Chief Minister shall provide that information when the Governor calls for information on matters relating to the administration of the State or on legislative proposals, and;
3. If the Governor so requires, the Chief Minister may place before 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 of Ministers.
Article 177 – deals with the power of ministers in relation to the Houses.
In any state where there is a Legislative Council, a minister can also take part in the proceedings of the House of which he is not a member, but can vote in the same House of which he is a member.
state council of ministers
Like the Centre, the State Council of Ministers also has three categories: Cabinet, State and Deputy Ministers, they differ according to their rank, special allowances and political importance. Above these ministers is the Chief Minister.
Talking about cabinet ministers , important departments of the state government like home, education, finance, agriculture etc. ministers are included in the cabinet. Mainly the administration is run by these ministers. It has the following role:-
1. It is the highest policy-making executive in the politico-administrative system of the state.
2. It is the main policy making organ of the state government
3. It is like the chief executive officers of the state government
4. It is the chief coordinator in the administrative system of the state government
5. It is the advisor to the governor
6. It is the chief emergency manager
7. It deals with statutory and financial matters.
8. It makes high appointments, such as constitutional authorities and senior administrative secretaries.
The cabinet works through different types of committees, which are called cabinet committees. They are of two types – permanent and short-term i.e Ad-hoc. They are appointed by the Chief Minister under the circumstances and as per the requirement.
Talking about ministers of state, they can either be given independent charge or they can be associated with the cabinet. They are not members of the cabinet and they do not participate in the meetings of the cabinet unless they are specifically called by the cabinet in any matter relating to their department.
According to the post, the Deputy Minister comes after this. They are not given independent charge. They are associated with cabinet ministers to assist them in their administrative, political and parliamentary duties. They are not members of the cabinet and do not participate in cabinet meetings.
Sometimes the Deputy Chief Minister can also be included in the Council of Ministers. Usually the Deputy Chief Minister is appointed for local political reasons.
Responsibilities of Ministers
Collective Responsibility – Collective responsibility is the principle basis of government in a parliamentary system. Article 164 makes it clear that the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the State Legislature, which means that the Council of Ministers shall be jointly responsible to the Legislative Assembly for all its activities or functions.
If the Assembly passes a no-confidence motion against the Council of Ministers, all the ministers have to resign. The Governor is not bound to follow the advice of the Council of Ministers who have lost their confidence in the House.
The principle of collective responsibility also means that all ministers are committed to the decision of the cabinet, that is, it is the duty of every minister to agree to the decision of the cabinet inside or outside the legislature. If he does not agree, he should resign. Earlier, many ministers have resigned due to differences over the cabinet decision.
Personal Responsibility – Article 164 also depicts the principle of personal responsibility. It states that ministers hold office during the pleasure of the governor. That is, the Governor can remove a minister from his office on the advice of the Chief Minister. In case of difference of opinion or in case of non-satisfaction with the affairs of the minister, the Chief Minister can also ask for the resignation of that minister.
No legal liability – No order of public act by the Governor requires the countersignature of the Minister. In addition, the court cannot review the advice given by the ministers to the governor.
Overall, this is the State Council of Ministers, I hope you have understood. Also read other related articles for better understanding. Links are given below;
List of current Indian chief ministers Click Here
State Council of Ministers Practice Quiz
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