Discuss the salient features of Cabinet system.
Some of the significant features of the Cabinet system in India are as follows:
(i) Exclusion of the President: Though all the executive actions are taken in the name of the President, yet the real power and responsibility in this regard is that of the council of Ministers.
(ii) Leadership of the Prime Minister: Prime Minister is the leader of the Cabinet and the
whole Council of Ministers. He picks-up the members of the Council of Ministers and distributes portfolios among them. The Prime Minister conducts the meetings and preceding of the Cabinet and presides over such meetings. The moment the Prime Minister resigns on political grounds the whole Council of Ministers is automatically dissolved.
(iii) Unity or Solidarity of the Cabinet: Since the whole Council of Ministers usually belong to one political party and has same objectives and ideals before it and their common leader is Prime Minister, they have to act as their single unit. At the meeting of the Cabinet the ministers express their views freely and may disagree with the majority.
(iv) Collective Responsibility: The Council of Ministers is a team and the Prime Minister is its captain. The principle of collective responsibility also implies that the Ministers are answerable for all decisions taken by the Cabinet. They cannot publicly criticize or show disagreement with the Cabinet decisions. If they cannot defend these decisions they have to resign or are liable to dismissal.
(v) Individual Responsibility: There is no provision in the Constitution for the individual responsibility of the Ministers. However, it is equally important. The principle of individual responsibility implies that each Minister is responsible for his personal conduct, departmental
lapses and departure from the official policy. Under the circumstances arising out of these reasons, the Minister concerned, has to resign.