Holding that it was not necessary for an MP to quit his/her seat at the time of becoming a chief minister or a minister in a state, the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and cabinet minister S C Mishra on the ground that they were sitting Members of Parliament.
"There is nothing in the Constitution which would make the appointment of the Chief Minister and Minister, none of whom are the members of the State Legislature, illegal," a bench of Justices Arijit Pasayar and P P Naolekar said.
Pandey, an advocate, had challenged the appointment of Mayawati and Mishra on the ground that since they were members of the Rajya Sabha Article 164 (4), which requires a chief minister or minister to be elected to the State Assembly within six months, would not apply to them.
The bench cited former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda's case in which the Supreme Court had held that a member of the Legislative Assembly could be appointed as Prime Minister. Deve Gowda was a member of Karnataka Assembly when he became the Prime Minister.
Pandey had argued that under Article 164 (4), there was a provision for a non-member to be appointed as a minister in a state, provided such a member was elected to the legislature within six months. An identical provision Article 75(5) was there with regard to the Centre.
He contended that since there was no such provision in the case of an MP, an inference has to be drawn that he/she had to vacate the Parliament seat before being appointed as chief minister or minister in a state.