The 14th Lok Sabha stood automatically dissolved when General Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha were first announced. A fortiori so did its Council of Ministers and its “Cabinet”.
Yet this morning Dr Manmohan Singh has held a purported “Cabinet Meeting” of the 14th Lok Sabha where its “members” (some of whom lost their seats!) purportedly submitted their “resignations” which he will then convey to the President with a request that the 14th Lok Sabha be dissolved!
The 14th Lok Sabha was dissolved and came to end eo ipso with the calling of the General Elections and any Council of Ministers and Cabinet that continued in existence was necessarily of a caretaker nature.
The 15th Lok Sabha has been elected as soon as the Election Commission has certified its final results. There can be no legitimate “Cabinet” of the 14th Lok Sabha subsisting alongside the 15th Lok Sabha even for one logical moment.
It is surprising we must begin perhaps with such a simple procedural error. It suggests there may be more to come. We must be sorry to see the steady corrosion of parliamentary law and custom.
Subroto Roy, Kolkata
Postscript: In the interregnum between the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha when General Elections are announced and the actual declaration of the results of the 15th, which has in fact taken a month or more, there is no functioning legislative branch of Government — though I would not disagree that if a national emergency like a war occurred during that period, the President in her wisdom would have a right to recall the 14th Lok Sabha if necessary as a kind of “caretaker” body for the duration of the emergency.