By Astha Joshi-
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian declined to entertain the petition against appointing 14 non-legislators as Ministers in Madhya Pradesh while granting them the liberty to plead before the High Court.
The petition filed by advocate Aradhana Bhargava mentioned Article 164 which permits such appointments only in extraordinary circumstances.
The Court intervened to ask “Who decides whether or not there are exceptional circumstances? To say such appointments may happen in exceptional circumstances is a self-serving argument! It has no basis in the Constitution.”
The petition further stated that “different kinds of virus has afflicted our political space. It is causing a pandemic, which surreptitiously causes the downfall of legitimately elected State governments; by unscrupulous legislators resigning from the ruling party and then joining hands with the principal opposition party under influence or due to extraneous reasons.
The ugly spectacle, which unfolded in the cabinet formation of the State government in the State of Madhya Pradesh recently, is a manifestation of this malaise.”
The Advocate-on-record Vipin Nair asserted in the petition:
“Never in the history of any State Government or even the Central Government, have as many as fourteen ministers, i.e., 41% of the total ministers’ strength, ever been appointed, who were non-legislators at the time of being sworn in.”
The plea also pointed out that the course of action endorsed was to “solely overcome the strict constitutional scrutiny imposed by the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.”