Case Brief: H.S. Verma vs T.N. Singh

Brief Details:

  • Relevant Citation: 1971 AIR 1331
  • Decided on: 16th March, 1971
  • Court: Supreme Court of India
  • Judge Bench: Honorable Justice S.M. Sikri, J.M. Shelat, C.A. Vaidialingam, A.N. Grover, A.N. Ray

Facts of the Case:

The petitioner was a rate payer working in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Mr. Tribhuvan Narain Singh (the respondent) was appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 18th October, 1970. The petitioner challenged his appointment on the ground that he was neither the member of lower house nor the member of upper house.

Issue Raised:

  1. Whether or not the appointment of a person as a chief minister who is not a member of either legislature is valid?


The writ petition filed was refused by the Supreme Court. According to the court, appointment of a non-state legislative member as a chief minister of state is valid under Article 164(4)[1]of the Indian Constitution, which approves such appointment for a period up to six months. The Supreme Court held that Article 164[2] should be read with Article 163(1)[3]of the Indian Constitution. The court observed that clause (1)[4]of Article 164 does not mention any qualification that a person should possess in order to be selected as a Chief Minister by the Governor and it also states that Chief Minister is to be appointed by the Governor and other ministers are also appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The clause (2)[5] of the Article 164 also states that the Council of Ministers will be collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly.

The court observed that if the Chief Minister or Council of Ministers, who are neither the member of legislative assembly, and if the state assembly is made by the governor, then there is nothing which would make the appointment of ministers invalid or illegal.

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