Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a law passed by Assam assembly

SC in its ruling struck down Assam Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance, 2004 as unconstitutional for the violation of Article 164(1A).

 91st Constitution Amendment Act

  • 91st Amendment Bill, 2003 passed on Jan. 1st 2004 modified Article 75 and Article 164.
  • The Act provided that under Article 164(1A), the size of the council of ministers in a state should not exceed 15% of the total strength of the assembly

Article 75 provisions as to Ministers

  • 75 (1)The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister
  • 75 (2) The Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President
  • 75 (3) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People
  • 75 (4) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule
  • 75 (5) A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister
  • 75 (6) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule The Attorney General for India

Other Verdicts Related

  • The SC had earlier declared appointment of parliamentary secretaries by some other states by executive order, as done by the AAP government in Delhi, as illegal and struck down these appointments.
  • In June 2015, the Calcutta HC quashed appointment of 24 parliamentary secretaries in West Bengal.
  • The Bombay HC in 2009 had struck down appointment of two parliamentary secretaries in Goa. The Himachal Pradesh HC in 2005 had in a similar ruling struck down appointment of eight chief parliamentary secretaries and four parliamentary secretaries.
  • In May 2015, the Hyderabad HC had stayed appointment of parliamentary secretaries in Telangana.

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