High Court rejects plea against appointment of Deputy CM

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday dismissed with costs of Rs. 10,000 a public interest litigation (PIL) petition questioning constitutional validity of appointing G. Parameshwara as Deputy Chief Minister when the Constitution does not prescribe such a post.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna S. Dixit passed the order while rejecting the petition, filed by Sekhar S. Iyer, 60, a resident of Mysuru who currently works as a professor at Vivekananda College of Engineering and Technology, Puttur, Dakshina Kannada.

During the argument, the petitioner himself admitted that the Supreme Court, in K.M. Sharma vs Devi Lal and Others case of 1990 had dismissed a PIL petition which had questioned the action of Devi Lal taking oath as Deputy Prime Minister in the V.P. Singh government though the Constitution does not recognise such a post. In Devi Lal’s case, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition by recording the statement of then Attorney-General that the Deputy Prime Minister is just a Minister like other members of the Council of Ministers and description as Deputy Prime Minister does not confer on him any powers of the Prime Minister. The apex court had accepted the then A-G’s submission that describing a person as “Deputy Prime Minister is descriptive only and for all purposes he is a Minister and there is no constitutional sanction for the post of the Deputy Prime Minister as such.”

The petitioner claimed that the apex court had not laid down any law in Devi Lal’s case but had only dismissed the PIL petition by recording the then Attorney-General’s submissions.

‘Unnecessary’ litigation

However, the Bench pointed out that the agreement of the apex court on the then A-G’s submission on such posts was binding on the High Courts and termed that Mr. Iyer’s petition was an “unnecessary” litigation. While observing that a professor teaching in a college should use his knowledge to guide society in a proper way, the Bench reiterated that the jurisdiction of PIL petitions should be used for “faceless and nameless causes” of society.

The court directed the petitioner to pay the costs within 30 days, failing which the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada would take action to recover the same from him.

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