IMPHAL: Ex-MLA and former Law Secretary Laishram Ibomcha has suggested that the four NPP Ministers should be declared “Ministers without Portfolio” to save the Government from legal complicacies.
In a release, L Ibomcha stated that all the four NPP Ministers were appointed as Ministers by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister under article 164 of the Constitution of India. They were in-charge of the departments of the State government as allocated to them by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister in pursuance of rule 6(1) of the Rules of Business of the Government of Manipur framed under article 166 of the Constitution. All the four Ministers submitted their resignations from the Ministership to the Chief Minister on 17th June 20’. However, Governor has not yet accepted their resignations as same were not recommended by the Chief Minister. Therefore, they are still holding their respective Portfolios de jure till the same are re-allocated to another Minister by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
In view of the legal proposition, no Minister (including CM) cannot perform their duties like according sanction, approval of the policy programs, plan and projects, etc. of the concerned departments allocated to them for the period from the 16th June 2020’, till the same are re-allocated to another Minister in accordance with rule 6(1) of the aforesaid Rules. According Sanctions, policy matters, etc. approved by another Minister in respect of the Portfolios allocated to them. If any, it shall be deemed as null and void and illegal till the same is not rectified or in absence of post facto approval given by the concerned four Ministers. The present impasse is a serious Constitutional crisis, and, it never happened in the political and Constitutional history of India. From the Audit point of view also, it will be improper and impropriety on the part of the four Ministers, to draw their pay and allowances for the said period without assigning any Portfolio to them. It smacks that they have been restrained from performing their duties which is still allocated to them by an external force and pressure, illegally, it maintained.
In the premises, the only legal remedy to regularize the present illegalities will be to declare them as “Ministers without Portfolio” by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister, from the date of their resignations i.e. with retrospective effect from 16th June 20’, till the same are re-allocated with Portfolios, it added.