Madras High Court verdict: Writ of ‘quo warranto’ can’t be issued for removing a Minister

Published: March 5, 2012

The Madras High Court in its verdict held that the pleasure of dismissing or removing a State Minister has to be that of the Governor and not that of the High Court and thus the High Court cannot issue a writ of ‘quo warranto’ for removing a Minister.

The Bench of the Madras High Court made this observation whilst dismissing a petition by K. R. Ramaswamy alias ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy attempting an issue of a writ directing Tamil Nadu Forest Minister K. T .Pachamal to demonstrate under what authority he served as a Minister in the face of well-documented allegements of his violating the law.

The petitioner, K. R. Ramaswamy, alleged that the Tamil Nadu Forest Minister K. T .Pachamal had violated the City Municipal Corporation Act by setting up digital banners.

In a series of decisions the Supreme Court and other High Courts had held that a writ of quo warranto could not be issued for removing Ministers, who were people’s representatives. The cure exists in the Constitution and a writ court could not issue a writ of quo warranto.

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