"An MP cannot be appointed CM unless he or she quits Parliament"
Such appointments also offend office of profit law Mayawati, colleague "usurped" office
New Delhi: A Lucknow advocate on Thursday challenged in the Supreme Court the appointment of Mayawati as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Satish Chandra Mishra as Minister in her Cabinet without their resigning Rajya Sabha membership. In his public interest litigation writ petition, Ashok Pandey questioned under what authority they were functioning as Ministers. He also sought a writ of quo warranto against all State Ministers as the Governor appointed them on the advice of a disqualified and unconstitutionally appointed Chief Minister.
The petitioner said Article 164 (1) permitted a non-legislator to become the Prime Minister, Chief Minister or Minister in case he or she undertook to contest an election and become legislator within six months.
But as Ms. Mayawati and Mr. Mishra were already Rajya Sabha members, they were not entitled to claim their appointment under the non-legislator class unless they resigned their membership of Parliament. The petitioner cited several instances of an MP having been appointed Chief Minister and said politicians were continuing the unconstitutional act. The court must determine the constitutionality of MPs becoming Chief Ministers without quitting their office in Parliament.
Such appointments would also offend the office of profit law as one could not get pay and allowances both as MP and as Minister in a State.
Mr. Pandey cited the instance of the Supreme Court unseating AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on the ground that she was disqualified to be appointed Chief Minister under Article 164 (1).
Contending that both Ms. Mayawati and Mr. Mishra had usurped their offices, the petitioner sought a direction to quash their appointments.