Dissolving of government by the Council of Ministers By: RACHITA MATHUR

Article 75(3) of the Constitution of India it states that, the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People. It means that, if the ministry loses the confidence of the house of people, all ministers including those, who are from Rajya Sabha, have to go and the entire ministry is obliged to resign.  Each member of the Council of Ministers, being a member of the either House of Parliament, actively participates in the proceeding of the Parliament. He is liable for defending the policies of the government in general and his Ministry in particular. Therefore he cannot take shelter on the plea that he has been misguided by civil servants of his Ministry and also cannot criticize his civil servants on the floor of the House, because they are not there to defend themselves. Parliament controls the Council of Ministers in many ways like it helps to checks its activities by putting questions, rejecting the Bills initiated by the Minister, by way of moving adjournment motions and ultimately by moving a vote of no-confidence against the government. It was only in 1979 that for the first time such a motion was carried out. Each member of the Council of Ministers, being a member of the either House of Parliament, actively participates in the proceeding of the Parliament. He is liable for defending the policies of the government in general and his Ministry in particular. He cannot take shelter on the plea that he has been misguided by civil servants of his Ministry. He also cannot criticize his civil servants on the floor of the House, because they are not there to defend themselves. It provides an opportunity for the government to defend its policies and programmes. In India a president is not bound to accept the advice of any single Minister. The decisions of the Council of Ministers are communicated to him by the Prime Minister .There is no fixed strength of the Council of Ministers in the Constitution. It is however, preferred that the total strength of the Council of Ministers should not exceed 1/10 of the total strength of the Lok Sabha as the administrative expenditure will become too heavy because each Minister is to be provided several facilities and infrastructure. A prime Minister usually has three or four trusted colleagues with whom he has faith and honestly discusses each political problem. Formation of Council of Ministers the Constitution provides that there shall be a Prime Minister, who will be nominated by the President who will, in turn, appoint other Ministers, who can form the Council of Ministers. The Ministers will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Each Minister must be a member of either House of Parliament at the time of his appointment; in case he is not, he should become so within a period of six months. If he fails to do so he will have to leave his ministerial position and also that of the House. Since India is a secular state, however, the fact remains that there are religious minorities in the country that can in no manner be unnoticed. If it is desired that these should significantly contribute to national growth and development, it is equally essential that these ought to be equal participants in the Council of Ministers. Futher the Prime Minister at the time of cabinet formation the women should get adequate and proper representation. Prime Minister should ensure that members of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes get proper representation, both in the cabinet and Council of Ministers. In case they are not satisfied then they may defect. Their position becomes strong when numerically they can become a majority by aligning themselves with the opposition, resulting in the downfall of the government. In order to check defections, it’s essential that the factions in the party should be kept satisfied to the extent possible. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha. A vote of no-confidence in the Lok Sabha against a particular Minister is to be treated as a vote of no confidence against the whole Council of Ministers. So the basic principle is that all the cabinet will come to power together and go out of that collectively. It may mention that the principle of collective responsibility does not strictly apply to the Prime Minister, at times required to take decisions without consulting his cabinet colleagues. The other basic principle is that of cabinet solidarity. All major policy problems are being decided by the cabinet as a whole before the House. However every Minister can express his viewpoint when discussions are going on he has every right to differ and disagree. It is another issue whether his viewpoint is appreciated or not by his colleagues. However once the decision has been taken, the whole Council of Ministers is expected to speak with one voice outside. Each Minister in the Parliament should leave an impression was that the cabinet is a united one body. To maintain secrecy in cabinet meetings, several secret issues are discussed and disclosed. Each Minister receives many reports and documents on which he is needed to make decisions. They initiate all important measures and ensure these get through. They defend policies and programmes of the government and ensure those policy decisions once taken and approved by the House are implemented. The State Government included as the Chief Minister apparently because he is the head of this council. The Governor can ask the C.M. to prove his strength on the floor of the Assembly. Chief Minister holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. He remains in the office so long as he continues to be the leader of the majority in the State legislative assembly. The Governor can dismiss him in case he loses his majority support. The State legislative assembly can also remove him by passing a vote of no-confidence against him.

 

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