Q. What is collective responsibility in Parliamentary form of Government?

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The term “collective responsibility” means that all ministers in the Council of Ministers should swim or sink together or stand and fall together. this principle implies that the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible as a body for all the actions, omissions and conduct of the government.

The policies, programmes or any other schemes of the cabinet have to be supported by each minister till they are a part of such cabinet. There can be no room for any difference of opinion with respect to any decision taken by the cabinet whether inside or outside the legislature, even if they disagree privately. This support even includes voting for government in the legislature.

article 75(3) of our Constitution provides as:

“The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.”

in the case of SP Anand v. HD Dev Gowda, it was held that “once a Prime Minister is appointed, he is also a minister and collectively responsible to the house as other Council of Ministers.”

in the case of Common Cause v. Union of India, AIR 1999 SC 2979, It was indicated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, collective responsibility implies that “all individuals from a legislature are consistent on the side of its approaches and would show that unanimity on open events despite the fact that while defining the strategies, they may have communicated an alternate view in the gathering of the Cabinet.”


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