Mains Daily Question
Feb. 3, 2022

What are the principles on which the cabinet system of government functions?

Model Answer

The cabinet is the smaller inner body of the Council of ministers. It is the core executive body in Parliamentary system of government.


  • Collective responsibility

 It is the fundamental principle underlying the working of Parliamentary system of government. According to article 75(3), all the ministers own joint responsibility to the Lok Sabha for all their acts of omission and commission. They work as a team and swim and sink together.

Thus, the council of ministers has to resign if Lok Sabha passes vote of no confidence. Alternatively, the council of ministers can advise the President to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the grounds that it doesn’t represent the views of the electorate.

The principle of collective responsibility also means that the Cabinet decisions bind all the ministers even if they differed in the cabinet meeting. In case of disagreement the minister has to resign. E.g. Harsimrat Kaur resigned in 2020 over three farm laws. Dr BR Ambedkar resigned because of difference over the Hindu code Bill in 1953.

  • Individual responsibility.

Article 75(2) states that the President can remove a minister on the advice of the Prime Minister in case of difference of opinion or dissatisfaction with the performance of minister. By exercising this power, the Prime Minister insures the realization of the principle of collective responsibility.

  • No legal responsibility

Unlike in Britain, in India, it is not required that an order of the President should be countersigned by a Minister. Moreover, the courts are barred from enquiring into the nature of advice rendered by the minister to the President.

Thus, these three principles establish responsibility and accountability of the executive and uphold the Parliamentary form of government in India.

Subjects : Polity
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