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Plea against Mayawati's appointment dismissed

Legal Correspondent

Her retaining Rajya Sabha membership is no disqualification

Plain words in Article 164 (4) cannot be cut down and confined to a particular case Article is not a source of power or enabling provision for appointment

New Delhi: "There is nothing in the Constitution which would make the appointment of the Chief Minister and Ministers, none of whom is a member of the State Legislature, illegal," the Supreme Court has held, upholding Mayawati's appointment as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh even as she was a Rajya Sabha member.

"Article 164 (4) provides that the Minister who for any period of six months is not a member of Legislature shall at the expiration of the period ceases to be a Minister. The plain words cannot be cut down in any manner and confined to a case where a Minister, a member of the Rajya Sabha, loses for some reason his seat in the State Legislature," said a vacation Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P.P. Naolekar.

A Lucknow-based lawyer Ashok Pandey contended that Ms. Mayawati was not qualified to be appointed Chief Minister as she was a member of the Rajya Sabha and thus disqualified under Article 164 (4) read with 164 (1) of the Constitution.

Mr. Pandey, who himself argued the case, also challenged the appointment of Satish Chandra Mishra as Minister in her Cabinet even as he retained his Rajya Sabha membership. The petition also challenged the continuation of all other Ministers as the Governor appointed them on the advice of a disqualified and unconstitutionally appointed Chief Minister.

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