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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

SC issues notice to MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in plea challenging appointment of 28 ministers

  • On 2 June, Chouhan held his first cabinet meeting in Bhopal with expanding and inducting 28 new Ministers
  • The three judge apex court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde while agreeing to hear the case also sought the response from Chouhan

The Supreme court on Wednesday issued notice to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a plea by former assembly speaker N P Prajapati challenging the appointment of 28 ministers in MP. Parajapati claims that the appointment violates the ceiling on maximum number of ministers fixed under the Constitution.

The three judge apex court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde while agreeing to hear the case also sought the response from Chouhan.

Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha argued that the appointment of the 28 ministers in MP cabinets was in violations of the provisions of the constitutions.

On 2 June, Chouhan held his first cabinet meeting in Bhopal with expanding and inducting 28 new Ministers. This was the second cabinet expansion since Chouhan was sworned as Chief Minister of the state on 23 March. He had earlier inducted five ministers in the cabinet on 21 April.

The new ministers include 20 of cabinet rank and eight ministers of state. The Chouhan ministry strength is now 34.

Pajapati alleges in his petition that as per the constitution provisions the total strength of the council of ministers including the chief minster cannot exceed 15% of the total number of members in the state legislative assembly. Keeping in mind the the total strength of only 206 members at present in the legislative assembly, the sanctioned number of appointment cannot exceed 31 members.

The petitioner seeks directions from the court directing Chouhan to bring the numerical strength of council of members in accordance with the 15% cap provided under the constitution.

In his plea, Prajapati has also raised legal questions as to whether the 15 % cap of the total members of the legislative assembly would be determined as per the present members of the House or the total seats in the House.

Former BJP ministers including Gopal Bhargava, Vijay Shah, Jagdish Devda, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Bhupendra Singh, Brajendra Pratap Singh and Vishwas Sarang were among those inducted in expansion.

From Jyotiraditya Scindia camp, Bisahulal Singh, Aidal Singh Kansana Imarti Devi, Prabhuram Choudhary, Mahendra Singh Sisodia,Pyadyumna Singh Tomar, Hardeep Singh Dang, Rajwardhan Singh Dattigaon were inducted as cabinet ministers, while Brajendra Singh Yadav, Girraj Dandotia, Suresh Dhakad and OPS Bhadoria were sworn in as ministers of state.

From BJP, Prem Singh Patel, Om Prakash Saklecha, Usha Thakur, Arvind Bhadoria and Mohan Yadav were inducted as cabinet ministers, while Bharat Singh Kushwaha, Inder Singh Parmar, Ramkhelavan Patel and Ram Kishore Kavre took oath as minister of state.

(PTI contributed to the story)

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