Appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers not Unconstitutional: Supreme Court

TBN, 13/02/24: On Monday, February 12, the Supreme Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers in multiple states violated Article 14. According to the Court, the Deputy Chief Minister’s role was only a title and not more than that of a minister in the state government.

The bench, which included Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra in addition to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, declined to accept the case because they believed it was poorly framed.

The “Public Political Party,” the petitioner, had asked the court for a mandamus to end the “unconstitutional appointment” of deputy chief ministers in several states.

Even a Deputy Chief Minister, according to the CJI, is first and foremost a minister; the title “Deputy Chief Minister” is “just a label.” He went on to say that the nomination of a deputy chief minister is unaffected by the constitution and that holding the title has no additional benefits, such as a higher salary.

The petitioner’s attorney argued that Article 14 was violated by the process of selecting a deputy chief minister. “They are setting a wrong example for the other authorities also by doing this,” he emphasised. What other criteria exist besides religion and belonging to a specific social group for the appointment of a deputy chief minister? Articles 14 and 51A of the Constitution are violated by this.

The Court rejected the case, not seeming to want to consider it. The submission is that there is no such post specified in the Constitution, the Court noted in its order. First and foremost, a deputy chief minister serves as a minister in the state governments. The constitutional stance is not violated by using the title “Deputy CM.”

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