Oath Taken by Ministers UPSC Notes | EduRev

Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

UPSC : Oath Taken by Ministers UPSC Notes | EduRev

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INTRODUCTION
During the oath-taking ceremony of the new government, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra with other ministers has altered the oath by invoking the names other than mentioned in the Constitution.

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS

  • Article 164(3) : It states that before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out in the Third Schedule.
    (i) Article 164 makes it clear that the text of the oath is sacrosanct, and the person taking the oath has to read it out exactly as it is, in the given format. 
  • Third Schedule : It requires the taker of the oath to either “swear in the name of God” or to “solemnly affirm” to “bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution”
  • Role of the Governor : If a person wanders from the text of the oath, it is the responsibility of the person administering the oath — in this instance, the Governor — to interrupt and ask the person being sworn in to read it out correctly.
    (i) Once Governor takes it as read, and the Secretary to the Governor has attested that the oath has been administered, it cannot be legally challenged.

Oath Taken by Ministers UPSC Notes | EduRev

INSTANCES OF DEVIATION

  • In 1990, the oath by Devi Lal as Deputy Prime Minister was challenged as being unconstitutional as the Constitution provides for the provisions of Prime Minister and ministers' oath only.
    (i) The Supreme Court upheld the oath as valid and stated that describing a person as Deputy Prime Minister is descriptive only and such description does not confer on him any powers of Prime Minister.
    (ii) It also ruled that the description of a minister as Deputy Prime Minister or any other type of ministers such as minister of state or deputy minister of which there is no mention in the Constitution does not vitiate the oath taken by him so long as the substantive part of the oath is correct. 
  • In 2012, Azam Khan (then a member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly) had to retake his oath after he skipped the oath of office of a cabinet minister, and only took the oath of secrecy.
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