New Delhi: The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a PIL challenging the practice of appointing deputy chief ministers, saying the practice does not violate the Constitution. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra, while dismissing the PIL filed by ‘Public Political Party’, said, “It is just a name (of the post) and even if you call someone Deputy Chief Minister, It is said that this does not change the status.
What did the Supreme Court say on the Deputy Chief Minister?
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said, “First and foremost, a Deputy Chief Minister is a minister in the state government and this does not violate the Constitution.” The lawyer appearing for the petitioner said that the State Deputy Chief Minister By appointing, they are setting a wrong example and this is a violation of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution. The bench said that such appointments do not violate any constitutional provision.
The bench said that the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers is a practice adopted in some states to give a little more importance to senior leaders in the party or coalition of parties in power…it is not unconstitutional. Rejecting the plea filed by Delhi-based ‘Public Political Party’, it said that under the Constitution, the Deputy CM is ultimately a member of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister.
What was said in the petition?
On the other hand, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the state was setting a wrong precedent by appointing the Deputy CM, which he said was done without any basis in the Constitution. The lawyer said that no such officer is prescribed in the Constitution, such appointments also violate the rule of equality in the Council of Ministers.
Supreme Court said – there is no merit in the petition
But the bench replied, “A Deputy Chief Minister is a minister… A Deputy Chief Minister does not violate any constitutional provision, especially because one should be an MLA. Even if you call someone deputy CM, it is still a reference to a minister.” The court said the designation of deputy chief minister does not violate the constitutional position that a chief minister must be elected to the assembly. This petition has no merit and is dismissed.
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