New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition questioning the practice of appointment of persons, not elected as members of Lok Sabha or state assemblies, as ministers in the Centre or state governments.
"There is already a provision in the Constitution that any person can be appointed as a minister and he has to be elected to any House within six months of such appointment," a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy said.
"This is happening since the day of Independence," the bench said while dismissing the appeal filed by a Bihar-based advocate against the judgement of the Patna High Court.
The petition filed in the High Court in 2014 had sought quashing the swearing-in and appointment of some ministers in the Union government and Bihar Government saying they were not voted by the people to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha.
The petition filed by Harendra Pratap Singh had named Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of the respondents on the ground that he had appointed leaders of Rajya Sabha as ministers in his cabinet.
The appointment of Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Jubin Irani, Najma Heptullah, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javdekar and Piyush Goyal, who are Rajya Sabha members, as ministers was questioned in the petition.
The petition had also named some ministers of Bihar Government, who are members of legislative council.
It submitted that induction of leaders who were not members of Lok Sabha or state assemblies as ministers subsequent to introduction of specific provisions like Clause -1-A in Articles 75 and 164 of the Constitution, was untenable.