Doctrine of Pleasure

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Recently Kerala Governor has sought the dismissal of State’s Finance Minister from his Cabinet, declaring that he has withdrawn the pleasure of having him in the Council of Ministers.

About Doctrine of Pleasure:

  • The pleasure doctrine is a concept derived from English common law, under which the crown can dispense with the services of anyone in its employ at any time.
  • In India, Article 310 of the Constitution of India says every person in the defence or civil service of the Union holds office during the pleasure of the President, and every member of the civil service in the States holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • However, Article 311 imposes restrictions on the removal of a civil servant.
  • It provides for civil servants being given a reasonable opportunity for a hearing on the charges against them.
  • There is also a provision to dispense with the inquiry if it is not practicable to hold one, or if it is not expedient to do so in the interest of national security.
  • In practical terms, the pleasure of the President referred to here is that of the Union government, and the Governor’s pleasure is that of the State government.
  • Under Article 164, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor; and the other Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the CM’s advice.
  • It adds that Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  • In a constitutional scheme in which they are appointed solely on the CM’s advice, the ‘pleasure’ referred to is also taken to mean the right of the Chief Minister to dismiss a Minister, and not that of the Governor.
  • In short, the Governor of an Indian State cannot remove a Minister on his own.

Source : The Hindu