Post of Cabinet Minister in India
Recently, Maharashtra Police arrested Union Minister Narayan Rane after making a derogatory statement against the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
What is the process of arresting the Union Minister:
- The Union Minister or Member of Parliament enjoys certain privileges in the Constitution, but most of these rights are available during the ongoing Parliament session.
- In a criminal case, police or other law enforcement agencies can arrest an MP or a ‘Union Cabinet Minister’ when Parliament is not in session.
- But under sub-section 222A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Rajya Sabha, the police or judge ordering the arrest is required to inform the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha about the reason and place of the arrest. It is published by the Chairman in the Bulletin of the Rajya Sabha for the information of all the members.
Protection to Union Ministers:
- Under the Constitution, a Union Minister or an MP is protected from arrest for 40 days before the commencement of the Parliament session and for 40 days after the end of the session.
- Since the monsoon session of Parliament ended earlier this month, Narayan Rane is protected from arrest in a civil case under section 135 of the ‘Code of Civil Procedure’.
- But his arrest was made in a criminal case, and no minister or member of parliament is safe from arrest in ‘criminal cases’ or ‘preventive detention’.
Council of Ministers and Cabinet
It should be noted that the parliamentary system of government has been adopted in India. In the parliamentary system of government, the main organ of government is the executive.
There are two types of executive in India –
- Nominal executive, headed by the President.
- Actual executive, prime minister and council of ministers.
Why is the President of India referred to as a Nominal Head of the State?
- Many powers have been given to the President in the Indian Constitution, but he does not exercise these powers alone or according to his will, but through the ministers elected in the Parliament.
- Article 74 of the Constitution states that there shall be a Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, to aid and advise the President. The COM consists of three categories of ministers, namely, cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers.
Cabinet Ministers: A special part of the ‘ COM’ is with the cabinet ministers; they are also allotted one or more ministries. Cabinet ministers are involved in all the decisions of the government. The government decides any decision, any ordinance, new law, law amendment etc. in the cabinet meeting itself.
Council of Ministers: It is made up of Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, Minister of State and Deputy Minister. In the 91st Constitutional Amendment 2003, a provision was made that the number of ministers in the Council of Ministers would not exceed 15% of the strength of the Lok Sabha (House).
Cabinet: Consists of Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister.
Source – Indian Express