A writ petition under Article 226 of the constitution of India was filed in the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi by Mr. A.P.Mukundan, Advocate. The petition came up for hearing before the Hon.Chief Justices and his companion Justice Arun Kumar being petition NO.487 of 1991, on 13th February 1991. In the said petition K.N. Balgopal, Advocate, Supreme Court appeared on behalf of the petitioner and the Hon.High Court was pleased to issue notice to all the five ministers who are respondents in the petition, as to why the petition be not admitted. The court further issued notice to the concerned ministers on the stay application on the question of why they should not be restrained from acting as ministers. The next date of hearing has been fixed for 15th March 1991. K.N. Balgopal submitted before the court that the protection of a non-member of the Parliament continuing as a minister for six months as provided under article 75(5) of the Constitution is not applicable to a disqualified member of Parliament as in the Constituent Assembly debate made at the time Constitution was drafted there was no specific inhibition in such cases. The Constitution does not prescribe any qualification for a person to become a minister. In case disqualified members are permitted to take advantage of the six months period then even a convicted criminal can become a minister for five months and twentynine days and on the 180th day he can resign as a minister and then take oath once again as a minister after the six months period and continue the cycle for twelve times during five years with the break of one day every six months. This K.N.Balgopal submitted was not the Intention of the Constitution makers. Further if the non-member has to take the benefit of article 75(5) of the Constitution, he ought to have taken a fresh oath of office and secrecy as provided under Article 75(4) of the Constitution. The present five ministers who are respondents in the case are continuing even without taking an oath which is against the Constitution and hence they must be dismissed. the counsel further submitted that out of eight members of the parliament disqualified by the Speaker three who are non ministers cannot even enter parliament while the other five who are disqualified on the same ground continue to address both houses of parliament which virtually nullifies the effect of the Hon.Speaker's order.
On 15-3-1991, the petition was dismissed an unfructuous as immediately after the petition was filed, the 5 Ministers resigned from the Ministership.
It was our sincere hope that the Hon'ble High Court would interpret the Law in such cases so that in future atleast the peoples' representatives donot scoop to such unhealthy practices.
Again the question is whether what they had done while continuing as ministers are illegal and if illegal what is the course of action! We wish that the Hon'ble High Court would consider these matters and give their interpretations.
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Last update: 22 July 1998