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Karnataka High Court Quashes Appointment of Advisors to CM

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Facts of the case:-

In the present petition, the petitioner questions the appointment of the eight personalities namely MP Renukacharya, Mahadev Prakash, Mohan A Limbikai, Sunil GS, Shankargowda Patil, MB. Marmkal and Laksminarayana as advisors to the Government of Karnataka. 

Petitioner’s Argument

The petitioner has suggested that the eight persons were selected as several advisors to the Chief Minister according to 8 separate orders announced by the administration. These arrangements were made under Article 164 1(A) of the Constitution of India. Nevertheless, these appointments are not identifiable to any inclusive legislation or constitutional terms.

In the petition, it was advanced by the petitioner concerning the Constitutional restraint on the extent of the cabinet. The argument set faith in Article 164(1)A which states that  “The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed fifteen percent.” It means that the percentage of members of the Council of Ministers cannot surpass 15 percent of the total concentration of the State Legislative Assembly. In the state of Karnataka, the total strength of the Legislative Assembly is 224 and hence, the highest official berths can just be thirty-four in whole.

 The petitioner also raised attention over the case that all the respondents have been awarded cabinet minister level and all perks linked with the post. The petitioner contested that this was unconstitutional as the State is not permitted to create a hybrid position to defeat constitutional order under Article 164 (1) A. 

The ruling party in the State could not accommodate its members, who nursed the party to form the government whether on its own accord or by overthrowing the present one. Hence, a clever method was devised to accommodate these supporters and lobbyists in the administration by presenting the rank of a cabinet minister. This has been accomplished by forming numerous “advisors” posts with cabinets.

It was prayed by the petitioner on these grounds for squashing all the administration orders designating 8 advisors to the CM as unconstitutional and unreasonable.

Court’s order

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum issued a notice after the petition advanced by NGO Samaj Parivartana Samudaya. The Karnataka High Court has solicited the reply of the State Government in the public interest litigation petition questioning the selection of eight persons as advisors. 

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