• State Council of Ministers headed by the chief minister is the real executive authority in the politico-administrative system of a state

Constitutional Provisions of State Council of Ministers

Article 163–Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor

  • There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor 
  • If any question arises whether a matter falls within the Governor’s discretion or not, decision of the Governor shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question
  • The advice tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court.

Article 164–Other Provisions as to Ministers

  • The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  • The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly.
  • A minister who is not a member of the state legislature for any period of six consecutive months shall cease to be a minister.

Article 166–Conduct of Business of the Government of a State

  • All executive action shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Governor
  • Orders and other instruments made and executed in the name of the Governor shall be authenticated & shall not be called in question
  • Governor shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business

Article 167–Duties of Chief Minister

  • communicate to the Governor of the state all decisions of the council of ministers
  • furnish such information relating to the administration
  • to submit for the consideration of the council of ministers

Article 177–Rights of Ministers as Respects the Houses

  • Every minister shall have the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of the Assembly and any committee but not be entitled to vote.

Nature of Advice of State Council of Ministers

  • cannot be enquired by any court
  • intimate and the confidential relationship between the governor and the ministers
  • Indian courts are barred from inquiring into the nature of advice

Appointment of Ministers

  • The chief minister is appointed by the governor.
  • The other ministers are appointed by the governor on the advice of the chief minister, implies that the governor can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the chief minister.
  • There should be a tribal welfare minister in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
  • The 94th Amendment Act of 2006 freed Bihar from the obligation of having a tribal welfare minister as there are no Scheduled Areas in Bihar now and the fraction of population of the Scheduled Tribes is very small.
  • The same Amendment also extended the above provision to the newly formed states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
  • Usually, the members of the state legislature, either the legislative assembly or the legislative council, are appointed as ministers.
  • A minister who is not a member of the state legislature for any period of six consecutive months shall cease to be a minister.
  • A minister who is a member of one House of the state legislature has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of the other House. But, he can vote only in the House of which he is a member.

Oath and Salary

  • Every new minister has to undertake the Oath of Officeand Secrecy before entering into his office administered by the Governor
  • Salaries and allowances determined by the state legislature.

Responsibilities of State Council of Ministers

Collective Responsibility

  • fundamental principle underlying the working of the Parliamentary system
  • work as a team and swim or sink together.
  • Article 164-acts of omission and commission
  • No – Confidence Motion against the council of ministers, all the ministers have to resign
  • cabinet decisions bind all cabinet ministers (and other ministers)even if they deferred

Individual Responsibility

  • Article 164
  • ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor
  • Governor can remove a minister only on the adviceof the Chief Minister

No Legal Responsibility

  • no provision in the Constitution
  • not requiredthat an order of the governor for a public act should be countersigned by a minister
  • courts are barred from enquiringinto the nature of advice

Composition of CoMs

The Council of Ministers consists of three categories of ministers –

  • Cabinet:
    • A Smaller Body called cabinet is the nucleus of the council of ministers.
    • It consists of only the cabinet ministers.
    • It is the real centre of authority in the state government.
    • It is steering wheel of the state government.
    • It is the Cabinet and not the Council of Ministers who advises the Governor of the state.
  • Cabinet Committees
    • Standing committees – permanent nature
    • Ad Hoc – temporary nature.
      • They are set up by the Chief Minister according to the exigencies of the time and requirements of the situation.
      • Hence, their number, nomenclature and composition vary from time to time.
      • They not only sort out issues and formulate proposals for the consideration of the cabinet but also take decisions.
      • However, the cabinet can review their decisions.

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