HC notices to MP Guv, CM on plea over ministers’ appointment

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to state governor through its secretary, chief minister, Assembly speaker and 17 others on a plea that sought quashing of appointment of 14 ministers, who are not members of the state assembly.
A Chhindwara-based lawyer Aradhana Bhargava filed the petition stating that the appointment of 14 non-legislators as ministers in the absence of any extraordinary or rare circumstances, is contrary to the scheme of Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution of India, petitioner’s counsel Dinesh Upadhyay said.
The petition came up for hearing before a division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice R K Dubey.
As per the petition, the 14 ministers are former MLAs, who had resigned from the Congress earlier this year and joined the BJP, Upadhyay said.
“The petition said that never in the history of any state government or Central government, as many as 14 ministers were appointed, who were not legislators when they were sworn in,” the counsel said.
“The petition seeks direction from the court to show cause as to under which authority they (non-legislators 14 ministers) are holding their respective offices,” he said.
The court has served four weeks returnable notices on the respondents, including 14 ministers and the Election Commission of India, the counsel said.
After the fall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state in March this year, the BJP came to power. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government appointed 14 of the 22 legislators, whose resignation led to the collapse of the previous dispensation, as ministers.