Responsibility of Ministers
The fundamental principle underlying the working of parliamentary system of government is the principle of collective responsibility. Article 164 clearly states that the council of ministers is collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state. This means that all the ministers own joint responsibility to thelegislative assembly for all their acts of omis-sion and commission. They work as a team and swim or sink together. When the legislative assembly passes a no-confidence motion against the council of ministers, all the ministers have to resign including those ministers who are from the legislative council. Alternatively, the council of ministers can advice the governor to dissolve the legislative assembly on the ground that the House does not represent the views of the electorate faithfully and call for fresh elections. The governor may not oblige the council of ministers which has lost the confidence of the legislative assembly.
The principle of collective responsibility also mean that the cabinet decisions bind all cabinet ministers (and other ministers) even if they deferred in the cabinet meeting. It is the duty of every minister to stand by the cabinet decisions and support them both within and outside the state legislature. If any minister disagrees with a cabinet decision and is not prepared to defend it, he must resign. Several ministers have resigned in the past owing to their differences with the cabinet.
Article 164 also contains the principle of individual responsibility. It states that the ministers hold office during the pleasure of the governor. This means that the governor can remove a minister at a time when the council of ministers enjoys the confidence of the legislative assembly. But, the governor can remove a minister only on the advice of the chief minister. In case of difference of opinion or dissatisfaction with the performance of a minister, the chief minister can ask him to resign or advice the governor to dismiss him. By exercising this power, the chief minister can ensure the realisation of the rule of collective responsibility.
No Legal Responsibility
As at the Centre, there is no provision in the Constitution for the system of legal responsibility of the minister in the states. It is not required that an order of the governor for a public act should be countersigned by a minister. Moreover, the courts are barred from enquiring into the nature of advice rendered by the ministers to the governor.
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