Article 163 deals with the status of the council of ministers while Article 164 deals with the appointment, tenure, responsibility, qualifications, oath and salaries and allowances of the ministers.
Article 163-Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor.
Article 164-Other Provisions as to Ministers
1. The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
2. The total number of ministers, including the chief minister, in the council of ministers in a state shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total strength of the legislative assembly of that state. But, the number of ministers, including the chief minister, in a state shall not be less than 12. This provision was added by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003.
3. A member of either House of state legislature 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 Governor.
5. The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the state Legislative Assembly.
Article 166-Conduct of Business of the Government of a State
Article 167-Duties of Chief Minister
Article 177-Rights of Ministers as Respects the Houses
NATURE OF ADVICE BY MINISTERS
Article 163 provides for a council of ministers with the chief minister at the head to aid and advise the governor in the exercise of his functions except the discretionary ones. In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled that a council of ministers must always exist to advise the governor, even after the dissolution of the state legislative assembly or resignation of a council of ministers.
APPOINTMENT OF MINISTERS
The chief minister is appointed by the governor. The other ministers are appointed by the governor on the advice of the chief minister.
RESPONSIBILITY OF MINISTERS
Article 164 clearly states that the council of ministers is collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state. This means that all the ministers own joint responsibility to the legislative assembly for all their acts of omission and commission. They work as a team and swim or sink together. When the legislative assembly passes a no-confidence motion against the council of ministers, all the ministers have to resign including those ministers who are from the legislative council.
Article 164 also contains the principle of individual responsibility. It states that the ministers hold office during the pleasure of the governor. This means that the governor can remove a minister at a time when the council of ministers enjoys the confidence of the legislative assembly. But, the governor can remove a minister only on the advice of the chief minister.
A smaller body called cabinet is the nucleus of the council of ministers. It Consists of only the cabinet ministers. It is the real centre of authority in the state government. It performs the following role:
1. It is the highest decision making authority in the politico-administrative system of a state.
2. It is the chief policy formulating body of the state government.
3. It is the supreme executive authority of the state government.
4. It is the chief coordinator of state administration.
5. It is an advisory body to the governor.
6. It is the chief crisis manager and thus deals with all emergency situations.
7. It deals with all major legislative and financial matters.