Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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PM, CMs should desist from appointing tainted people as ministers: Supreme Court

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In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a petition calling for removal of tainted Cabinet ministers, saying the Prime Minister should take a call on this.

“Appointment of cabinet ministers with criminal past must be left to the wisdom of PM,” the apex court said, while cautioning that “PM and CMs should not include people with criminal antecedents in their cabinet.”

“Indian Constitution reposes immense trust in PM and CMs and they are expected to act with responsibility and with constitutional morality,” the highest court ruled.

An apex court constitution bench said that though no disqualification could be added to Article 75 (1) of the constitution that empowers the prime minister to make anyone as a minister, but a person in conflict with law should not be entrusted with executive responsibilities.

“Those in conflict with law and involved in offences of moral turpitude and corruption should not be allowed to discharge duty as ministers,” the bench said.

The court said the constitutional functionaries are expected to uphold trust reposited in them by the people and the cherished values of democracy.

In the last hearing the government had contended that only Parliament can decide what would constitute as being a criminal past of the ministers.

According to elections affidavits, thirty percent of ministers in the Narendra Modi government have declared criminal cases against themselves and 18 percent have declared “serious criminal cases”.

Union Water Resources Minister UMA Bharti has a case related to attempt to murder and a case related to sections on promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion registered against her. She had also declared a case related to illegal payments in connection with an election.

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