Appointment of Deputy Chief Minister in a state is not unconstitutional: Supreme Court

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On February 12, 2024 (today), the Supreme Court (SC) of India dismissed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) challenging the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers in the States as being violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. The bench, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice JB Pardiwala, refused to entertain the petition stating that the appointment of Deputy Chief Minister in a state is not unconstitutional. The bench ordered “The petition filed under Article 32 seeks to challenge the appointment of deputy chief ministers in states. The counsel for the petitioner contends that no such office is there as per the Constitution. A deputy CM is first and foremost a minister in the government of the states. The designation of deputy chief Minister does not breach the constitutional position that a chief minister must be elected to the legislative assembly. Therefore, this plea lacks substance and is thus dismissed.”

In this case, the ‘Public Political Party’ (petitioner) sought a mandamus from the top Court to stop the unconstitutional appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers in different states. During the proceedings, the advocate appearing for the petitioner contended that “They are by doing so, setting a wrong example for the other authorities also…What is the basis of appointing a deputy CM, it is the only religion, and being from a particular sect of the society, there is no other basis. This is against Articles 14 and 51A of the Constitution.” After hearing the contention, the SC bench refused to entertain the matter and dismissed the same.