“It is only a label. Even if you call someone a deputy CM, the constitutional status is of a minister. The affiliation of a particular person being a deputy chief minister has no real bearing in a constitutional sense. They don’t draw higher salaries, they are like any other member of the council of ministers,” said a bench presided by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud.
The bench, also comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, said that the plea challenging appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers in the state governments without there being any provision for such appointments under the Constitution of India lacks in substance and is liable to be dismissed.
The public interest litigation (PIL) drawn by advocate Mohan Lal Sharma said that Article 164 of the Constitution provides for the appointment of only Chief Ministers and the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers has nothing to do with the citizens or public of the states.
It added that the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers causes confusion to the public at large and is setting up wrong and illegal examples by political parties by creating imaginary portfolios as Deputy Chief Ministers cannot take any independent decision of Chief Ministers, though they are projected and shown as equal to Chief Ministers.