(1) The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(1A) The total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed fifteen per cent. of the total number of members of the House of the People.
(1B) A member of either House of Parliament 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 either House of Parliament before the expiry of such period, till the date on which he is declared elected, whichever is earlier.
(2) The Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
(3) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.
(4) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
(5) A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
(6) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.
Draft Article 62
(1) The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(2) The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
(3) The Council shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.
(4) Before a minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
(5) A minister who, for any period of six consecutive months, is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister.
(6) The salaries and allowances of ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determine, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.
Draft Article 62 (Article 75 of the Constitution of India, 1950) was debated on 30 December 1948, 31 December 1948, 14 October 1949 and 17 October 1949. This article sought to govern the office of the Prime Minister and Ministers. Importantly, it established the collective responsibility of the Ministers to the House of People.
A member wanted to introduce a new provision to regulate the removal of Ministers. He argued that encoding this would prevent misuse of power by the future legislature on the Ministers. This would ensure non-interference and smooth administration of the responsibilities of the Ministers.
There was a proposal to ensure that the Prime Minister would be appointed from a political party with the majority votes in the Parliament. This would enable a stable Ministry that ‘commands confidence in the House’.
The Chairman of the Drafting Committee moved an amendment that would mandate the President to follow the Instrument of Instructions to exercise his/her power. It also barred the scrutiny of decisions taken by the President. A member was against such bar, he argued that this would give rise to an ‘autocratic President’ as opposed to a ‘constitutional President’.
A member sought to replace ‘pleasure of the President’ with ‘confidence of the House of People’. He highlighted that this proposal was not motivated by communalism, instead, it merely codified an existing convention. He argued that as a matter of practice, the Ministers held their position only as long as they commanded the confidence of the House of People. This convention which found its practice in Britain and America needed to be written in the Constitution and not left out for future ambiguities or Supreme Court interpretation.
In order to be appointed as a Minister, one member proposed, he/she should have been elected from the House of People. He pointed out that the appointing ‘permanent Ministers’ from the nominated members of the Parliament would violate democratic principles. Only a member who had the confidence of the electorate must be made a Minister.
Only the proposal of the Drafting Committee Chairman was accepted. The Assembly adopted the Draft Article on 31 December 1948. However, the Drafting Committee moved to delete their earlier amendment on 14 October 1949.