No loss of collective responsibility of Cabinet, state tells High Court

KOCHI: Opposing the petition seeking to declare that Pinarayi Vijayan is disentitled to continue as a Chief Minister, the state government on Tuesday submitted before the Kerala High Court there had been no loss of collective responsibility of the Cabinet.When the petition by R S Sasikumar, former syndicate member of Kerala University, came up for hearing, the Advocate General submitted former minister Thomas Chandy had only filed a petition against the Alappuzha District Collector’s report on encroachment of land by a resort owned by him. 

He never challenged any decision of the government. 
In fact, following the dismissal of the writ petition by a Division Bench, Thomas Chandy resigned from the minister post, the Advocate General submitted.The petitioner sought a declaration the Cabinet had lost the collective responsibility following the filing of a petition by Thomas Chandy and abstention of four CPI ministers from the Cabinet meeting on November 15.

The petitioner stated while dismissing Chandy’s petition, the Division Bench had observed that the very moment when ministers start expressing or questioning the decision of another minister or of the Council of Ministers, the concept of collective responsibility would come to an end and the government would lose its constitutional mandate to continue in office. Refuting the allegations, the Advocate General submitted the four CPI ministers did not participate in the Cabinet meeting held on November 15. However, the ministers had not dissented to any of the decisions taken by the Cabinet. 

The decisions were accepted by the CPI ministers.  Therefore, no question of violation of collective responsibility of the Cabinet arises. Moreover,  the Cabinet meeting had sufficient quorum as required under the rules of business, the Advocate General submitted.After concluding the arguments of the state government and the petitioner, the court reserved its orders.

Article source: Legal News

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