The Jabalpur bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court issued notices to 20 people on Wednesday including Governor, chief minister, state assembly speaker and Election Commission of India on a petition challenging appointment of 14 non-MLAs as ministers in the state. All the 14 ministers (two of them resigned on Wednesday) have also been served notices by the High Court’s principal bench.
Advocate General Purshendra Kaurav said High Court has issued notices to ministers and the next hearing will be held on December 14, well after the bypoll results. The by-elections on 28 assembly constituencies in the state will be held on November 3 and results will be out on November 10. Petitioner advocate Aradhna Bhargava had moved Supreme Court in this regard but was told to approach High Court of respective state. As a result, she filed petition in High Court, Jabalpur.
The ministers who receive notice include women and child welfare minister Imarti Devi, energy minister Pradyum Singh Tomar, food and civil supplies minister Bisahu Lal Singh, panchayat and rural development minister Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, industry minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon, PHED minister Aidal Singh Kansana, health minister Dr Prabhuram Chaudhary, renewal energy minister Hardip Singh Dung, minister of state for urban administration department OPS Bhadauria, MoS PWD Suresh Dhakar, MoS agriculture Giriraj Dandotia, MoS PHED Brijednra Singh Yadav.
Revenue minister Govind Singh Rajput and water resources minister Tulsi Sialwat resigned on Wednesday. They were among first five ministers inducted in BJP cabinet on April 21, 2020. Their six-month term ended on October 21, 2020.
Petitioner advocate Aradhna Bhargava said as per provisions of Article 164 (4) of the Constitution, non-MLAs can be made ministers in special circumstances, which was not the case in Madhya Pradesh.