(1) 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, and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor:

 

   Provided that in the States of 1 [Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand], Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and backward classes or any other work.

 

(1A) 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.

 

(1B) 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.

 

(2) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

 

(3) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.

 

(4) 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.

 

(5) 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.

Debate Summary

Article 144, Draft Constitution, 1948

(1) The Governor's ministers shall be appointed by him and shall hold office during his pleasure:

Provided that in the States of Bihar, Central Provinces and Berar and Orissa, there shall be a minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and backward classes or any other work.

(2) Before a minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.

(3) 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.

(4) In choosing his ministers and in his relations with them the Governor shall be generally guided by the Instructions set out in the Fourth Schedule, but the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that it was done otherwise than in accordance with such Instructions.

(5) 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 determine, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

(6) The functions of the Governor under this article with respect to the appointment and dismissal of ministers shall be exercised by him in his discretion.

 

Draft Article 144 (Article 164) was debated on 1st June 1949 and 14th October 1949. It laid down conditions of service for the Council of ministers of a state.

 

A member proposed an amendment to clause (1) to permit the Council to hold office only so long as they enjoyed the confidence of the State Legislative Assembly, to ensure smooth governance of the state. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee responded that these amendments were unnecessary because it was widely understood that if a Council lost the confidence of the legislature, the Governor would exercise his pleasure in dismissing it.

 

Another member wanted to substitute clause (3) so that the Council of Ministers could only be selected from existing members of the State Legislature.He argued that the existing Draft Article did ‘not fit with the spirit of democracy’ as the residents of the concerned state had already voiced their opinion on the matter by electing representatives to the State legislature. This proposition received some support from other members of the Assembly, one of whom contended that the existing Draft Article could lead to corruption in public services, pointing to the impact of a similar provision under the Government of India Act, 1935

 

Most of these amendments were negatived, while the Assembly accepted an amendment proposed by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. The amended Draft Article 144 was adopted on 1st June 1949.

 

Subsequently, a member of the Drafting Committee moved an amendment to delete clause (4) of the Draft Article. He noted that the House had deleted the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution on which the clause relied, and hence it was no longer necessary. The amendment was adopted without debate on 14th October 1949.