Supreme Court advisory: No tainted ministers
In a subtle yet strong worded document, the highest court of appeal in India, has gone ahead to advise the PM and CMs of various states not to include any tainted ministers in the cabinet against whom serious charges have been framed in both civil and criminal cases.
Resting its advice on the principle of good governance and a basic constitutional expectation, it stated that only clean MPs should be given responsible offices to maintain the sanctity of the Parliament. It stated that it is a primary and a very legitimate expectation of every Indian voter that the beholders of the highest institution in the country who take “oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and to discharge their duties faithfully and conscientiously” should be free from any criminal charges and tainted past.
SC in special reference to the PM has reiterated that people have placed immense faith in him and the post calls for supreme and unbiased approach to select his own cabinet and ministers. The Constitution expects great deal from his position and entrusted him great duty. The bench went on to state that,”that is what the Constitution expects from him and thus has to be left to the wisdom of the PM”. The 5-member bench was headed by the CJI justice R.M. Lodha.
The Court stopped short of giving any directions to the PM as that will amount to gross misuse of the powers of the judicial review and against the basic structural features of the same.
Looking at the statistics, more than a dozen ministers of Modi government have serious charges framed against them. Alarmingly 34% MPs in Parliament have criminal records and cases registered against them. Amongst these some are involved in serious crimes like murders, kidnapping, etc.