Deputy CM Post Not Unconstitutional, He Has No Powers Of Chief Minister: Karnataka HC Rejects PIL [Read Order]

Deputy CM Post Not Unconstitutional, He Has No Powers Of Chief Minister: Karnataka HC Rejects PIL [Read Order]

We are clearly of the view that with the consistent decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court as also of different High Courts, it is beyond the pale of doubt that mere description of any Minister in the Council of Ministers as Deputy Chief Minister does not confer the person concerned with any powers of the Chief Minister and does not result in any unconstitutionality.’

Recently a public interest litigation filed by a Professor challenging the appointment of G Parmeshwar as Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka was dismissed by Karnataka High Court with costs.

A bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna S Dixit observed that mere description of any minister in the Council of Ministers as Deputy Chief Minister does not confer on the person concerned any powers of the Chief Minister and does not result in any unconstitutionality.

According to Sekhar S Iyer, the PIL petitioner, the concept of Deputy Chief Minister is nowhere contemplated in the Constitution of India. He also contended that the appointment of any person as Deputy Chief Minister only creates confusion in the public as also in bureaucracy; and is only sub-serving the political causes of the persons concerned.

During hearing, the bench queried the professor whether he is aware of the decision of Supreme Court in the case of KM Sharma v Shri Devi Lal, to which he replied that 28 years have elapsed since rendering of the said decision and in the present context and perspective, the matter deserves to be considered by the high court. He also submitted that the said decision was rendered on the statement made by the Attorney General and no law was declared by the Supreme Court.

In KM Sharma case, the Supreme Court had dealt with the question raised about ‘deputy prime minister’. The bench had held: “In view of the clear statement made by the learned Attorney-General that respondent No.1 is just a Minister like other members of the Council of Ministers though he has been described as Deputy Prime Minister but the description of him as Deputy Prime Minister does not confer on him any powers of the Prime Minister, along with his other submissions, we think the first contention raised by the petitioner has no force.”

The bench, then remarked: “We are clearly of the view that with the consistent decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court as also of different High Courts, it is beyond the pale of doubt that mere description of any Minister in the Council of Ministers as Deputy Chief Minister does not confer the person concerned with any powers of the Chief Minister and does not result in any unconstitutionality. That being the position, we are further clearly of the view that there had been absolutely no justification for filing this writ petition as a PIL.”

The bench observed that PIL is entirely frivolous, meaningless, unnecessary and unwarranted by none other but a person who is engaged in teaching Business Law and is not oblivious of the legal process.

Although the professor submitted that he had no ill-intent in filing this petition and he may be excused this time; and for that matter, he would undertake to render pro bono services, the bench imposed Rs. 10,000 as costs.

Read the Order Here