Views of Sarkaria Commission

Sarkaria Commission UPSC

Sarkaria Commission on inter-state relations in its report dealt with the role of Governors. It suggested that in choosing a Chief Minister the Governor should be guided by the following principles: (1) The party or combination of parties which command the widest support in the legislative assembly should be called upon to form the Government. (2) The Governors task is to see that a government is formed and not to try to form a government which will pursue policies which he approves. (3) If there is a single party having absolute majority the leader of that party should automatically be invited to become the Chief Minister. If there is no such party the Governor has to invite: a) An alliance of parties formed before the elections. b) The largest single party which is able to gain the support of other members to command majority. c) A post electoral coalition which has the required members. d) A post electoral coalition in which partners will not join the government but are willing to support the government from outside. The Commission further suggested that where the Chief Minister heads a coalition Government he must seek the vote of confidence in the assembly within 30 days of taking over. Sarkaria Commission cautioned the Governor and said that the Governor should not risk determining the issue of majority support outside the assembly. The prudent course for him would be to cause the rival claims to be tested on the floor of the House.

Other provisions as to Ministers

The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed fifteen per cent. of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State: Provided that the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister in a State shall not be less than twelve: Provided further that where the total number of Ministers including the Chief Minister in the Council of Ministers in any State at the commencement of the Constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act, 2003 exceeds the said fifteen per cent. or the number specified in the first proviso, as the case may be, then the total number of Ministers in that State shall be brought in conformity with the provisions of this clause within six months from such date∗ as the President may by public notification appoint. A member of the Legislative Assembly of a State or either House of the Legislature of a State having Legislative Council belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of that House under paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister under clause (1) for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or where he contests any election to the Legislative Assembly of a State or either House of the Legislature of a State having Legislative Council, as the case may be, before the expiry of such period, till the date on which he is declared elected, whichever is earlier.] The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State. A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister. The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as the Legislature of the State may from time to time by law determine and, until the Legislature of the State so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

THE ADVOCATE-GENERAL FOR THE STATE

The Governor of each State shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Judge of a High Court to be Advocate-General for the State. It shall be the duty of the Advocate-General to give advice to the Government of the State upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the Governor, and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other law for the time being in force. The Advocate-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor, and shall receive such remuneration as the Governor may determine.

CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

All executive action of the Government of a State 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 in such manner as may be specified in rules to be made by the Governor, and the validity of an order or instrument which is so authenticated shall not be called in question on the ground that it is not an order or instrument made or executed by the Governor. The Governor shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of the State, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business in so far as it is not business with respect to which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion.

DUTIES OF CHIEF MINISTER AS RESPECTS THE FURNISHING OF INFORMATION TO GOVERNOR, ETC.

It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister of each State— (a) to communicate to the Governor of the State all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation; (b) to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for; and (c) if the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council.

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