CHENNAI: Holding that administering or taking oath as Deputy Chief Minister will not render the incumbent unqualified for the post, the Madras High Court has upheld the appointment of O Panneerselvam as deputy chief minister.
The court gave the ruling while dismissing a PIL from advocate V Elangovan challenging the appointment of O Panneerselvam as the deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Applying the earlier judgments of Supreme Court and Bombay High Court, the Bench held that there was nothing wrong in OPS being administered the oath as the deputy chief minister. The two judgements held that the minister was described as deputy chief minister while swearing-in did not render the oath administered to him as unconstitutional.
Elangovan contended that there here was no provision in the Constitution to take oath as a deputy chief minister. As per Article 164(1) & (1A) of the Constitution, there could only be one chief minister and 12 ministers. The post of deputy chief minister was created for political purpose, without any constitutional mandate, he said.