Question: The Governor of a State dismissed Council of Ministers enjoying the confidence of the House. ‘A’ challenges the action of the Governor on the ground that his action is unconstitutional. Will ‘A’ succeed? Give reasons for your answer with the help of suitable examples. [UPJS 2013] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites.… Read More »

Question: The Governor of a State dismissed Council of Ministers enjoying the confidence of the House. ‘A’ challenges the action of the Governor on the ground that his action is unconstitutional. Will ‘A’ succeed? Give reasons for your answer with the help of suitable examples. [UPJS 2013] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [The Governor of a State dismissed Council of Ministers enjoying the confidence of the House. ‘A’ challenges the action of the...

Question: The Governor of a State dismissed Council of Ministers enjoying the confidence of the House. ‘A’ challenges the action of the Governor on the ground that his action is unconstitutional. Will ‘A’ succeed? Give reasons for your answer with the help of suitable examples. [UPJS 2013]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [The Governor of a State dismissed Council of Ministers enjoying the confidence of the House. ‘A’ challenges the action of the Governor on the ground that his action is unconstitutional. Will ‘A’ succeed? Give reasons for your answer with the help of suitable examples.]

Answer

Article 164 (1) of the Indian Constitution provides that the Chief Minister of a state shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister, and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.

The case of Mahabir Prasad v. Prafulla Chandra [AIR 1969 Cal 198] brought to fore the issue of the power of the governor to dismiss a ministry for judicial considerations. This issue basically revolved around the question of the nature of the governor’s pleasure as contemplated under Article 164(1) of the Constitution. In other words, the problem was required to be examined as to whether the constitutionally prescribed pleasure confers upon the governor discretionary power to dismiss the ministers arbitrarily on subjective considerations.

The facts of these cases state that after the 1967 elections, no single party gained a majority in West Bengal Legislative Assembly to form a government of its own. This led to the coalescence of several parties into a United Front to secure a majority in the assembly which selected Shri Ajoy Mukherjea as its leader who in accordance with the parliamentary practices was appointed CM. However one of the ministers P.C Ghose resigned which lead to the withdrawal of the support of members and thus claimed that the United Front ministry has lost its majority in the house, the governor dismissed the ministry and installed P.C Ghose as the CM with 2 ministers in the CoM.

This dismissal of old ministry and installation of new was challenged on the ground that the pleasure of the governor didn’t confer upon him an arbitrary or discretionary power to dismiss the ministers. The Court however held that the inference drawn from Article 164(1) entails that a governor can dismiss the ministers at his will and this can’t be subjected to scrutiny.

However, it is to be noted that the governor may exercise his discretion to dismiss the ministry only when there is no clear majority or where there is no recognized leader of the majority party as such situation call for his objective assessment. Also, the governor can’t dismiss a ministry that enjoys the confidence of the lower house in accordance with Article 164(2) r/w 74(3) which require that CoM shall be collectively responsible to the lower house. This is the essential backbone of parliamentary government. Therefore, it suggests that though the CoM is appointed by the President or the Governor, as the case may be, and holds office during their pleasure, yet this pleasure is really vested in the lower house of the Parliament of the state legislature.

So, now the position is that the governor’s pleasure under 164(1) is subject to 164(2) and such withdrawal of governor’s pleasure must coincide with the withdrawal of support to the ministry by the assembly. Such an interpretation is also in conformity with the parliamentary form of government. Hence, the claim of A may succeed against the constitutional validity of the Governor’s action in dismissing the CoM.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-06-13T04:26:35+05:30
Admin LB

Admin LB

Next Story