Explained: The PIL against the lifetime status of ‘Cabinet minister’ to Goa’s Pratapsingh Rane

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What is the News?

A petition has been filed in the High Court of Bombay challenging the “lifetime status of the rank of Cabinet minister” accorded to Pratapsingh Rane, a six-time Chief Minister of Goa and a legislator for a full 50 years.

What is the “Lifetime Status of the rank of Cabinet Minister”?

Government of Goa has decided that those who completed 50 years and hold posts like CM and Speaker will be given “lifetime status of the rank of Cabinet minister”.

This status was recently given to Pratapsingh Rane, a six-time Chief Minister of Goa and a legislator for a full 50 years.

What is the issue with this status?

A petition has been filed in the High Court of Bombay to quash the notification of the government.

The petitioner has argued that Goa has a 12-member Cabinet and the conferment of Cabinet status results in the number of Cabinet ranks rising to 13 which exceeds the ceiling mandated by the Constitution.

This ceiling was mandated by the 91st Amendment, which aimed to prevent jumbo Cabinets and the resultant drain on the public exchequer.

What does the 91st amendment say on this?

The Constitution (91st Amendment) Act, 2003 inserted clause 1A in Article 164.

It says the total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State.

It provided a condition that the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister in a State, shall not be less than twelve.

Source: The post is based on an article Explained: The PIL against the lifetime status of ‘Cabinet minister’ to Goa’s Pratapsingh Ranepublished in Indian Express on 28th April 2022.

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