Friday, August 29, 2014

Supreme Court remarks on CORRUPT Cabinet Ministers - How should the PM act

Disqualification of Union & State Cabinet Ministers is constitutional responsibility of PM, CMs: Supreme Court of India

An ADR and NEW analysis reveals 44 (23%) out of 194 State Cabinet Ministers from 13 Assemblies (where elections were conducted in the last two years) and 12 (27%) out of 45 Union Ministers have self-declared criminal cases against themselves. (Detailed report is attached)

In a landmark judgement on Aug. 27, a five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court observed that it is not the prerogative of the Apex court to disqualify ministers facing criminal charges. Putting the ball in Prime Minister’s court, the SC held that it is the collective responsibility of the Prime Minister and Chief Ministersto keep those people against whom charges have been framed in criminal and corruption cases, out of their Cabinet. 

Ideal tenets of polity observed in the judgement

  1. Disqualification of Minsters is not Court’s prerogative: Interpreting Article 75(1), the Supreme Court said that disqualification of Ministers cannot be added to the responsibility of Court as it is the constitutional prerogative of those functionaries who are called upon to preserve, protect, defend the organization. Thus the court cannot issue any direction to PM and CMs as to the manner in which they should exercise their power while selecting their colleagues in the Council of Ministers.
  2. Court’s duty is to remind PM, CMs about their role in working of constitution: The judgement said it is the bounden duty of the Court to remind the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of the State of their duty to act in accordance with the constitutional aspirations.
  3. Scope and purpose of Articles 74, 75 and 164: Constitutional trust, constitutional morality and good governance are the three fundamental ingredients of Article 74, 75 and 164 and the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers are regarded as the repository of these three fundamental aspects. Thus the office of the Prime Minister is expected to carry the burden of constitutional trust.
  4. Whether any restriction can be placed on the operation of Article 75 (1): The Article 75(1) clearly states that the PM shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the PM. Therefore as a result, such a “restriction” would amount to laying down of boundaries on the advice of PM. In instant judgement, the Apex court has respected the doctrine of “Separation of Powers.”
  5. PM is expected to act with constitutional responsibility: PM is expected that he should act in the interest of national polity of a nation state. He has to bear in mind that “unwarranted elements or persons” who are facing charges in certain category of offences should be prohibited from entering into our constitutional structure.
  6. Constitutional advice on appointment of ministers: The advice given by the Prime Minister is the constitutional advice. Prime Ministerial advice under Article 75 (1) conveys formation of his opinion and trust of people is reposed in him under the constitution. This reposing of faith in the PM by the entire nation has the expectations of good governance which is carried out by Ministers of his choice.
  7. Advice should be considerate, deliberate and informed one: The advice given by the PM to the President in the context of Article 75 (1) has to be considerate, deliberate and informed one. Keeping in view the sanctity of oath, he takes, the PM would consider not choosing a person with criminal antecedents against whom charges have been framed for heinous or serious criminal offences or charges of corruption.
  8. Presumption of innocence needs to be treated differently under electoral polity: Presumption of innocence should not be considered for being chosen as a Minister in a stage of “framing of charges.” The reason behind this is that framing of charges is a judicial act by an experienced judicial mind.


Current status of criminalization of politics in India
State Cabinets
·     Ministers with declared criminal cases: 44 (23%) Ministers out of 194 analyzed have declared criminal cases in their affidavits.
Ministers with serious declared criminal cases: 26 (13%) Ministers have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

States with high percentage of Ministers with criminal cases: Among the states analysed, Telangana (90%) has the highest percentage of Ministers with criminal cases followed by Andhra Pradesh (56%), Karnataka (34%) and Odisha (27%).

States with 0% Ministers with criminal cases: None of the Ministers from the states of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim have declared criminal cases.

States with high percentage of Ministers with serious criminal cases: Telangana (80%) has the highest percentage of Ministers with serious criminal cases followed by Rajasthan (25%) and Andhra Pradesh (22%).

Chief Ministers with declared criminal cases: K.Chandrasekhar Rao of Telangana and N.Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Union Cabinet

Union Council of Ministers with declared criminal cases: 12 (27%) out of 45 Ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Union Council of Ministers with declared serious criminal cases: 7 out of 45 Ministers have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.



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We can't expect the BJP or Congress to take any action for although Modi blabbed away before the elections on taking action on Corruption and  Rape of women, he has failed on both counts. His silence on Nihal Chand and the way his finance minister has trivialized the Delhi rape just shows how serious they are. Further, we are seeing the CAG report on Gujarat and the scams emanating from MP, so the criminal ministers  can rest assured that they can continue their loot.

Only person who could take action is the President of India but he too has compromised his position by hankering for  his son becoming  a MP with a Congress , even after becoming the President.

The Court has refused to take action.

The electorate continues to choose criminal candidates from these run of the mill parties in spite of the AAP giving them an opportunity to select honest candidates as an alternative.


SO WHO IS GOING TO SAVE INDIA?

1 comment:

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