The MPHC serves notices to Governor, Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and 17 others over appointment of non-MLAs as ministers. Admitting the petition, the Madhya Pradesh High Court (MPHC) has issued notices to the Governor, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Assembly Speaker and 17 others, and posted the matter for further hearing on November 14.
MPHC serves notices to 14 ministers
The High Court on Wednesday issued notices to 14 ministers who are not MLAs in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.
All 14 ministers are non-MLAs who had resigned from the Congress in March and were then appointed ministers in Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet.
A Chhindwara-based lawyer Aradhna Bhargav, in a petition, has challenged the appointment of these non-MLAs in the cabinet. MPHC division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice RK Dubey heard the petition on Wednesday.
The petition stated that the appointment of 14 non-legislators as ministers in the absence of any extraordinary or rare circumstance, is contrary to the scheme of Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution of India.
“The petition said that never in the history of any state government or Central government, as many as 14 ministers were appointed, who were not legislators when they were sworn in,” the petitioner’s counsel Dinesh said.
“The petition seeks direction from the court to show cause as to under which authority they (non-legislators 14 ministers) are holding their respective offices,” he said.
The court has served four weeks returnable notices on the respondents, including 14 ministers and the Election Commission of India, the counsel said.
Two ministers resign
Two of the 14 ministers, Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput resigned from their berths on Wednesday. Both were included in the cabinet in April. They should have been given membership of the Assembly as of October 20 as per norms. Silawat and Rajput are in the fray for the bypolls from Sanwer and Surkhi respectively.
A total of 22 MLAs of the Congress had resigned from the party in March. However 14 of them were appointed ministers despite not being MLAs.