Appointment of Ministers
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, while the other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. This means that the President can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Prime minister.
Usually, the members of Parliament, either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, are appointed as ministers. A person who is not a member of either House of Parliament can also be appointed as a minister. But, within six months, he must become a member (either by election or by nomination) of either House of Parliament, otherwise, he ceases to be a minister.
A minister who is a member of one House of Parliament has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of the other House also, but he can vote only in the House of which he is a member.
Oath and Salary of Ministers
Before a minister enters upon his office, the president administers to him the oaths of office and secrecy. In his oath of office, the minister swears:
In 1990, the oath by Devi Lal as deputy prime minister was challenged as being unconstitutional as the Constitution provides only for the Prime Minister and ministers. The Supreme Court upheld the oath as valid and stated that describing a person as Deputy Prime Minister is descriptive only and such description does not confer on him any powers of Prime Minister. It ruled that the description of a minister as Deputy Prime Minister or any other type of minister such as minister of state or deputy minister of which there is no mention in the Constitution does not vitiate the oath taken by him so long as the substantive part of the oath is correct.
The salaries and allowances of ministers are determined by Parliament from time to time. A minister gets the salary and allowances that are payable to a member of Parliament. Additionally, he gets a sumptuary allowance (according to his rank), free accommodation, travelling allowance, medical facilities, etc. In 2001, the sumptuary allowance for the prime minister was raised from t1,500 to t3,000 per month, for a cabinet minister from t1,000 to t2,000 per month, for a minister of state from t500 to t1,000 per month and for a deputy minister from t300 to ?600 per month.
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