The definition of “Government Chief Whip” is given in S. 2(bb) of the Karnataka Legislature Salaries (Third Amendment) Act, 1976 (hereinafter called ‘the Act’), which reads as follows:
“2(bb) ‘Government Chief Whip’ means a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council designated by the Chief Minister as the Government Chief Whip in the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council”.
Sec. 10J of the Act provides that each “Government Chief Whip” is entitled to a salary of Rs. 1,000 per mensem. S. 10-K of the Act provides that the Government Chief Whip shall each be entitled without payment of rent to the use of a furnished residence in the City of Bangalore throughout his term of office or in lieu of such furnished residence to a house rent allowance at the rate of three hundred and fifty rupees per mensem. Sec. 10-L of the Act provides that a suitable motor-car may be provided for. the use of each Government Chief Whip, and they will also be entitled to a conveyance allowance at the rate of five hundred rupees per mensem. S. 10M of the Act provides that the State Government shall provide one stenographer and one peon to each Government Chief Whip. S. 10-N of the Act provides for the payment of cost of petrol in respect of the motorcar and also certain other maintenance charges relating to residential house. Consequent on the recognition of the petitioner as “Government Chief Whip” in the Legislative Council the petitioner was getting the salary and allowances and was also getting amenities as provided in the aforesaid provisions.
Neither the office of the “Govt Chief Whip” is created by the Constitution or any statutory provision nor its term of office is regulated by any such provision. A1l that is provided under the Act is only the definition of the “Government Chief Whip” and the emoluments and other amenities to be extended to the “Government Chief Whip”. Therefore, in order to find out whether a “Government Chief Whip” can continue in office even after the term of office of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers comes to an end, it becomes necessary to ascertain the nature of the functions or office of the “Government Chief Whip” under the cabinet system of Govt. Under our Constitution, we have adopted parliamentary and cabinet system of Govt both at the Centre and the States. The President is the head of the Union with the Prime. Minister and Council of Ministers to aid and advise the President in the discharge of his functions under the Constitution. At the State-level, the Governor is the head of the State with the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Governor in the discharge of his functions under the Constitution except so far he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his functions or any one of them in his discretion. The Union Legislative consists of Rajya Sabha (Council of States) which is a permanent body and the Lok Sabha (House of People) which is required to be elected periodically as prescribed in the Constitution and is also subject to dissolution even before the prescribed period. Similarly, at the State-level, the Legislature of the State consists of Legislative Assembly which is required to be elected periodically as provided under the Constitution and is also subject to dissolution even before the prescribed time. There is also provision for the Constitution of the Legislative Council in the State which after its constitution continues to be a permanent body until it is abolished. In this State, we have both Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council and the petitioner is a Member of the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council is not subject to dissolution. As our system of Govt is similar to the British system of Govt it is necessary to trace the history of the creation of the Office of the “Govt Chief Whip”, and his functions from the British system. In supported the stand taken in the statement of objection, the learned Govt Advocate appearing for the respondent, relied on the relevant passages in various books of eminent English authors throwing light on the origin, nature of office and functions of the “Govt Chief Whip” and also on the books of eminent Indian authors which are set out hereinafter:
(i) ‘Parliamentary Practice’ by Erskine May (8th Edn) at pages 239 to 241-Constitution of Party Machinery- “Inside the House of Commons each party has a fairly elaborate organization, presided over by officials who are Members of the House and staffed by subordinate officials who are not Members. The officers or Whips of the party in office consist of the Chief Whip who holds the official position of Parliamentary or Patronage Secretary to the Treasury, three officers of the House-hold, and five Lords of the Treasury, with the addition of up to six Members who act as Assistant Whips; all these Whips receive salaries. All Govt Whips rank as Ministers of the Crown. One of the Lords of the Treasury is usually appointed Deputy Chief Whip.
The Whips of a party in opposition consist usually of the survivors of those who were Whips when it was in office together with as many other Members as may be selected for the purpose. Since 1965 the Chief Opposition Whip has been paid a salary out of the Consolidated Fund. The Govt Whips and the Whips of the official opposition and of the second opposition party (when there is more than one party in opposition) have offices as near the Chamber as may be.
Duties of Whips-The efficient and smooth running of the Parliamentary machine depends largely upon the Whips. Certain duties are common to Whips of all parties, but by far the most important duties devolve upon the Govt Chief Whip. He is concerned with mapping out the time of the session; for applying in detail the Govt’s programme of business; for estimating the time likely to be required for each item, and for arranging the business of the individual sitting. In drawing up the programme he is limited to a certain extent by the standing orders, which allot a modicum of time to private Members and by statute law or standing orders, which require, or may require, certain business to be completed by specified dates’ as well as by certain conventions which make it obligatory upon him to consult the Whips of Opposition Parties and even to put down items of their selection (see pp. 279-80). In carrying out his duties, he is directly responsible to the Prime Minister and Leader of the House. It is also part of his duties to advise the Govt on parliamentary business and procedure and to maintain a close liaison with Ministers in regard to parliamentary business which affects their departments. He, together with the Chief Whips of other parties, constitutes what are known as the “Usual channels”, through which communications pass as to business arrangements and other matters which concern the convenience of Members as a whole.
The duties which are common to Whips of all parties are the following. They keep their Members supplied with information about the business of the House, secure the attendance of Members, arrange for their Members, who are unable to attend divisions to ‘pair’ with Members of the opposite side of the House so that their votes may be neutralized and not lost, and supply lists of Members to serve on standing and select committees. They also act as intermediaries between the leaders and the rank and file of their parties in order to keep the former informed as to the trend of party opinion.
In the Lords-As in the House of Commons the conduct of business in the House of Lords is influenced by the existence of organized Govt and Opposition parties. The positions of Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition have developed for reasons which have already been described in relation to the House of Commons. The conduct of Govt business in the Lords is entrusted to the Leader of the House, who is appointed by the Prime Minister and is a member of the Cabinet. The Leader of the Opposition, who has functions similar to the corresponding figure in the House of Commons, has since 1965 enjoyed a statutory salary which is paid out of the consolidated Fund.
Whips are also appointed by the parties in the House of Lords. The Govt Whips, who hold salaried offices as Members of the Royal House-hold, are the Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms (Govt Chief Whip), the Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard and three Lords-in-Waiting. Since 1965 the opposition Chief Whip has enjoyed a statutory salary paid out of the Consolidated Fund..”
(ii) parliament by Sir Ivor Jenning (2nd Edn) at page 84- “The Whips work under the control of the party leaders. Their functions differ some-what according as their party supports the Govt or is in opposition. The function of the Govt Whips, it has been said, is ‘to make a House, to keep a House and cheer the Minister’. Of the last of these we need say little: a Minister who cannot get a cheer except out of his Whips either is a poor speaker or has a poor case to justify; there are certain formulae, varying from party to party, which can always raise a cheer from the most depressed party member. Making and keeping a House is a more important duty. By a usage which dates from 1640, and which may be altered by resolution of the House, there is a quorum of forty members. At the meeting of the House it is the Speakers duty to see that a quorum is present. If a quorum is not present after prayers, he waits or retires from the House either until a quorum is present, or until four O’clock. At four O’clock he again counts the House, and if a quorum is not present, he adjourns the House to the next sitting day without question put. Accordingly, if the Govt wishes any business to be done, the Whips must see that a quorum is present. In practice, there is no difficulty, at least on a full day, for some members have questions to put and others wish to hear the answers and to put supplementary questions. Moreover, though the Govt usually wants certain motions passed, the Opposition equally desires to criticise those motions.” And at pages 93 and 94- “The Govt Whips are, technically, junior Ministers. The Chief Whip is Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury. Until recently he was known as ‘Patronage Secretary’, a name which descends from the more expansive days when a majority was kept by patronage or influence or, as some would say, corruption. His functions in this respect have not entirely disappeared. He brings to the attention of of the Prime Minister the names of members who are deserving of honours or whose support will be more effective if honour is accorded them. Members approach him to recommend those among their constituents who are most worthy of decoration, Or whose decoration will make the members’ seats rather safer. If, as is not always the case, he is Treasurer of the party fund he indicates to the Prime Minister those whose ‘political and public services’, as witnessed by the party fund, are most suitable for royal acknowledgment. It must be said, however, that something other than mere party advantage must now be shown, and that the Prime Minister is not informed of any contributions that may have been made.
In addition, there are three or more Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. In January 1956, there were five paid and three unpaid Assistant Whips. The Treasurer, Comptroller and Vice-Chamberlain of the House-hold are also Govt Whips. In other words, ten or twelve members on the Govt side are Whips, seven or eight of these being paid out of moneys provided by Parliament.
The Office of the Parliamentary Secretary, said Mr. Disraeli, requires consummate knowledge of human nature, the most amiable flexibility, and complete self-control. Knowledge of human nature and amiability are perhaps the most essential requirements of all Whips. They must know all their members; they must be aware of every wind of opinion that blows; they must understand the temper and whims of the Opposition; they must know when to cajole, when to persuade, and when to threaten. The House must be treated on a large scale as a committee is treated on a smaller. Obstruction can be removed by a gentle conversation before hand. Proposals will find acceptance if they are put to one man in one way and to another man in another way. Ruffled feathers must be smoothed and sensitive skins gently stroked. Much of the process of parliamentary management is conducted in the lobbies and smoke rooms, where indeed the only really dangerous opposition arises, as we shall see in Chap V.”
(iii) The British Constitution by J. Harvey and L. Bather at page 102- “Maintaining day-to-day discipline within the party is the responsibility of the Chief Whip and his 8 to 10 Assistant Whips, all Members of Parliament. The term was first used in 1769 by Burke, who borrowed it from the hunting-field, where one person has the task of whipping-in hounds straggling from the pack. Today the Whips occupy a key position in party organisation. On the Govt side they are given posts carrying a salary, but there is no payment for Whips of other parties. The Govt Chief Whip is Parliamentary Secre-tary to the Treasury, sometimes referred to as ‘Patronage Secretary’, a relic of the 18th Century when the Govt disposed of offices and pensions as rewards for service. He has offices at 12 Downing Street and in the Palace of Westminister. Some of the Assisant Govt Whips hold such posts as Lords Commissioners of the Treasury and Comptroller, Treasurer and Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal House-hold; the more junior Assstant Whips are unpaid.”
At page 252-
“Junior Ministers, usually having the title of Parliamentary Secretary or, where the Minister in charge is a Secretary of State, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, help their senior Ministers both in the Department and in Parliament. The Treasury is an exception, for there the Parliamentary Secretary is the Govt Chief Whip and some of the Junior Lords act as Assistant Whips.”
(iv) ‘Constitutional Law’ by Wade and Phillips at pages 223 and 229-
“The Chancellor of the exchequer and other Treasury Ministers-
The responsibilities of the Chancellor of the Exchequer cover the whole range of Treasury business including the control of public expenditure and the direction of economic and financial policy. He is invariably a member of the House of Commons. There are four other Ministers who rank as Secretaries to the Treasury Board, but are not members of it. They are the Chief Secretary, the Parliamentary or Patronage Secretary (the Chief Government Whip), the Financial Secretary and the Economic Secretary. These posts are regarded as of greater importance and prestige than those normally attaching to a Parliamentary Secretary.”
From the aforesaid passage, it is clear that the”Government Chief Whip”is the nominee of the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister as the case may be and his duties mainly consist in assisting the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers in the effective performance of their duties in the Legislature. Their status is that of a”Junior Minister”though they are not actually the members of the Cabinet. In other words, they are part and parcel of the Council of Ministers though they are not actually the members of the Cabinet.
The position of the”Government Chief Whip”in the House of People and the Rajya Sabha or in the Legislative Assembly or in the Legislative Council in India is exactly of the same nature as in, England. In then Book ‘Practice and Procedure of Parliament’, Kaul and Shakdher state as follows at pages 122 to 124:
“The main function of the Whips is, as stated above, to keep members of their party within sound of the division bell whenever any important business is under consideration in the House. Whips are responsible for the attendance of the members at the time of important divisions. During sessions the Whips of the different parties send to their supporters periodic notices, also sometimes called ‘whips’, warning them when important divisions are expected, telling them the hour when a vote will probably take place, and requesting them to be in attendance at that time. The importance of the division is indicated by underscoring the notice by a number of lines, or a couple of very thick lines. The Whips have to know their men. This involves a close contact with all members and knowledge of their interests, special aptitudes, qualities ant potentialities. The Whips take these aspects into account while sending list of speakers to the Chair in the interest of quality of debate and deliberation. They keep members supplied with information about the business of the House and enforce party discipline. Being constantly in touch with the members in the lobbies etc., of the House, the Whips acting as intermediaries between the leaders and the rank and file of their parties, keep the former in touch with the currents of opinion not only within their own party and thereby nip the incipient revolt in the bud but also to some extent with other movements of opinion inside the House. And it is through the Whips that members of a party come to know about their leader’s views and the plans into which the leader thinks it necessary or expedient to initiate them. The Whips are the active agents within the parties-a channel of communication whereby one party negotiates with another concerning topics for debates or conduct of business in the House.
It has been aptly said that the Whips are not only shock-absorbers, but also indicators of the party; they are not only advisers to the leader, but also the binding-force in the party; they are not only barometers of the different regions and opinions but also the counsellors of members.
Government Chief Whip.-The Chief Whip of the Government Party in Lok Sabha is the Mmister of Parliamentary Affairs. The Chief Whip is directly responsible to the Leader of the House. It is a part of his duties to advise the Government on Parliamentary business and to maintain a close liaison with the Ministers in regard to parliamentary business affecting their Departments.
The Chief Whip is the eyes and ears of the leader of the Party so far as the. members are concerned. He conveys the wishes of the leader to the members of the Party and keeps the Leader informed of the current opinion in the Party as also the moods and inclinations of individual members when these deserve special notices. During sessions, in his capacity as adviser to the leader, he normally meets the Prime Minister not only for one set interview daily but also several times in the, course of the day for brief consultations.
The Chief Whip is assisted by one Minister of State and two Deputy Ministers. With their assistance, he controls the members of the party in power and ensures that during sittings there is quorum in the House and that adequate number of members of the party are present at the time of voting. For this purpose, he sends them advance intimation through the familiar system of ordinary, one, two and three-line Whips to indicate the extent of urgency attaching to the vote on a particular measure before the House.
Apart from making the House and keeping essential for transaction of business, the Chief Whip has the whip hand in shaping the course, tone and tenor of debate on special occasions for he selects the speakers’ from his party and hands over a list to the Speaker for facilitating the process of ‘catching his eyes.’ The responsibility of keeping every body at his post and keeping his party united, strong and well-knit falls on him. He selects members for select committees and other parliamentary and Govt assignments keeping in view the background, experience aptitude, qualifications, etc., of members of his party. This gives him quite a wide power of patronage which comes handy in keeping the party members amenable to his influence.
During the course of actual working, Whips of the Government Party and of parties in the Opposition come into contact with each other to sort out matters of common interest and to understand and accommodate each other on many crucial occasions when it is convenient for both sides to arrive at mutual understanding. Even in the matter of selection of members of the Opposition for select committees, contact between Whips of the Government and the Opposition becomes important. Whips, both of the ruling party as well as those of the opposition, play a very significant role in the smooth and efficient functioning of parliamentary democracy. Apart from their normal duties of making and keeping the House, they are required to establish and maintain, through a tactful handling of situations, good and amicable relations, between the Government and the Opposition benches a pre-requisite for the smooth running of the Parliamentary business.”
Having regard to the origin of “Government Chief Whip” and the nature of functions required to be performed by the “Government Chief Whip”, which are set out in the autoritative books on this subject referred to above, it is clear that a “Government Chief Whip” is to arrange and assist in the smooth and orderly functioning of the Legislative business. As pointed out by Kaul and Shakder (supra), the Chief Whips of the Government in Lok Sabha is the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and he is directly responsible to the Leader of the House, in the discharge of his functions. Therefore the position of the “Government Chief Whip” in the State also is, though he is not a Member of the Cabinet, his status and the position is that of a Minister and he is responsible to the Chief Minister. It follows, therefore, that when, simultaneous to the imposition of the Presidential Rule in the State, the Legislative Assembly is dissolved and the operation of Arts. 163 and 164 of the Constitution are suspended and as a consequence of which the term of office of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers comes to an end, automatically the recognition given by the Chief Minister in favour of a Member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council as “Government Chief Whip” of the Assembly or the Council, as the case may be, comes to an end. In the nature of things, the word “Government” which is found among the words “Government Chief Whip” has to be understood as the Cabinet form of Government and not the Government of the State when the power has been assumed by the President. In the absence of the Cabinet form of Government, it is incongruous to hold that the Chief Whip of the Government which itself is not in existence continues to function or hold the office as the case may be.