Article 74 deals with the status of the council of ministers while Article 75 deals with the appointment, tenure, responsibility, qualification, oath and salaries and allowances of the ministers.
Article 74-Council of Ministers to aid and advise President.
Article 75-Other Provisions as to Ministers.
1. The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
2. The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha. This provision was added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003.
3. A member of either house of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister. This provision was also added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003.
4. The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
5. The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
6. The President shall administer the oaths of office and secrecy to a minister.
Article 77—Conduct of Business of the Government of India.
Article 78—Duties of Prime Minister
Article 88—Rights of Ministers as Respects the Houses
NATURE OF ADVICE BY MINISTERS
Article 74 provides for a council of ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions. The 42nd and 44th Constitutional Amendment Acts have made the advice binding on the President.
APPOINTMENT OF MINISTERS
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, while the other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. This means that the President can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Prime minister.
RESPONSIBILITY OF MINISTERS
Article 75 clearly states that the council of ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. This means that all the ministers own joint responsibility to the Lok Sabha for all their acts of commission and commission. They work as a team and swim or sink together. When the Lok Sabha passes a no confidence motion against the council of ministers, all the ministers have to resign including those ministers who are from the Rajya Sabha.
Article 75 also contains the principle of individual responsibility. It states that the ministers hold office during the pleasure of the president, which means that the President can remove a minister even at a time when the council of ministers enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha.
COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
The council of ministers consists of three categories of ministers, namely, cabinet ministers, ministers of state,and deputy ministers.
Role of cabinet
1. It is the highest decision-making authority in our politico-administrative system.
2. It is the chief policy formulating body of the Central government.
3. It is the supreme executive authority of the Central government.
4. It is chief coordinator of Central administration.
5. It is an advisory body to the president and its advice is binding on him.
6. It is the chief crisis manager and thus deals with all emergency situations.
7. It deals with all major legislative and financial matters.
8. It deals with all foreign policies and foreign affairs.
The cabinet, a small body consisting of the prime minister as its head and some 15 to 20 most important ministers, is the highest decision-making body in the formal sense. However, a still smaller body called the ‘Inner Cabinet' or ‘Kitchen Cabinet' has become the real centre of power.
Every prime minister in India has had his Inner Cabinet'-a circle within circle. During the era of Indira Gandhi, the Inner Cabinet' which came to be called the Kitchen Cabinet' was particularly powerful. The prime ministers have resorted to the device of inner cabinet’ (extra constitutional body) due to its merits, namely:
1. It being a small unit, is much more efficient decision-making body than a large cabinet.
2. It can meet more often and deal with business much more expeditiously than the large cabinet.
3. It helps the Prime Minister in maintaining secrecy in making decisions on important political Issue