28 Apr 2022 91st constitutional amendment
Today Current Affairs
- The BJP government has honored senior Congress leader Pratapsinh Rane by conferring the status of “Cabinet Minister” for life on completing 50 years as an MLA in the Goa Legislative Assembly.
- ‘Pratapsinh Rane’ has been a six-time Chief Minister of Goa and an MLA for 50 years.
- The Bombay High Court has said that in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against six-time Chief Minister of Goa and MLA for 50 years, Pratap Singh Rane, his “lifetime status of the office of Cabinet Minister” A debatable issue has been raised regarding the challenge.
- The PIL has argued that Goa has a 12-member cabinet and the granting of cabinet minister status to Rane increases the number of cabinet members to 13, which is more than the mandated limit prescribed by the Constitution.
- This limit was set by the 91st Amendment Act, 2003 in the Constitution of India.
91st Constitutional Amendment – Today Current Affairs
- Clause 1A was inserted in Article 164 of the Constitution (91st Amendment) Act, 2003, according to which “the total number of ministers including the Chief Minister in the Council of Ministers of a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the State Legislative Assembly.”
- There was also a provision in this that the number of ministers including the Chief Minister in a state would not be less than 12.
- Similar amendments were made under Article 75 also. The Hindu Analysis
- According to this, the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers should not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha.
- The objective of the 91st amendment was to curb the large cabinet and the consequent economic burden on the exchequer.
Council of Ministers : The Hindu Analysis
- Article 74 of the Constitution deals with the status of the Council of Ministers, while Article 75 deals with the appointment, tenure, responsibilities, qualifications, oath and salaries and allowances of ministers.
- There are three categories of ministers in the Council of Ministers, namely Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers. The post of Prime Minister is the highest among all these ministers.
- Cabinet Ministers: These are the heads of important ministries of the central government like Home, Defence, Finance, Foreign Affairs etc. Today Current Affairs
- The cabinet is the main policy making body of the central government.
- Ministers of State: They can either be given independent charge of Ministries/Departments or can be placed with Cabinet Ministers.
- Deputy Ministers: These are related to cabinet ministers or ministers of state and assist in their administrative, political and parliamentary work.
Public interest litigation : The Hindu Analysis
- Public Interest Litigation (PIL) means lawsuits filed in court to protect the “public interest”, such as pollution, terrorism, road safety, construction related hazards etc.
- Any matter which affects the interest of the public at large can be redressed by filing a Public Interest Litigation in the Court.
- PIL has not been defined in any statute or any Act. This has been interpreted by the judges as being in the interest of the public at large. The Hindu Analysis
- Public interest litigation is the power given to the public by the courts through judicial activism.
- However, the person filing the petition has to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that the petition is being filed in the public interest and not as a mere litigation by a body.
- The Court may take suo motu cognizance of the matter or the case may be initiated on the petition of any publicly aware person.
Some of the matters considered under PIL are : The Hindu Analysis
- Issues related to bonded labor
- Neglected children
- Non-payment of minimum wages to workers and exploitation of informal workers
- Atrocities on women
- Environmental pollution and disturbance of ecological balance
- Food adulteration
- Maintenance of heritage and culture
Today Current Affairs
- The beginning of the era of Public Interest Litigation Movement Justice P.N. Bhagwati in the case SP Gupta vs Union of India 1981.
- In this case it was held that any member of the public or social action group who actually acts can invoke the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts (under Article 226) or the Supreme Court (under Article 32).
- Through public interest litigation, any person can seek redressal against the violation of legal or constitutional rights of persons who cannot approach the court due to social or economic or any other disqualification.