Wednesday 26 October 2016

'SC Verdict on Tainted MPs To Pressurise PM But Change Unlikely'

New Delhi

The Supreme Court's verdict today on tainted ministers would "definitely" put some pressure on the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers but is unlikely to bring about major change in government's functioning unless the law is changed, say constitutional experts.

Former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, ex-Law Minister Shanti Bhushan, noted jurist K T S Tulsi and retired Delhi High Court Judge S N Dhingra are of the view that in the absence of law, the verdict, which is advisory in nature, would not be of much help as politicians are "thick skinned".

"It will not have any effect as our government (ministers) is very thick-skinned," Dhingra said, adding "several times, our Supreme Court, or we in the High courts, issued advisory to the government but they did not change their attitude.

"There are plenty of judgements suggesting the government to act against the tainted politicians, but all in vain," he said.

Gopalaswami was of the firm view that the entry of tainted persons in the council of ministers cannot be avoided unless the law is changed.

"There is a need to change the law and those chargesheeted be not allowed to file nomination papers. Of course, we need to educate people not to choose such kind of politicians...," he said.

Tulsi, also a Rajya Sabha MP of Congress party, said since the verdict was advisory in nature, "the PM and CMs should bear in mind the constitutional morality and propriety".

His view was shared by Bhushan who said this verdict will definitely put some moral pressure on the PM and CMs.

"The SC said it cannot force people to act in this regard. I am in agreement. It is for the people to agitate and try to bring some change. They (people) can demand from the political parties to introduce good candidates," he said.

Gopalaswami also said the country lacks such kind of law because at the time when Constitution was formed, people might had not expected that this kind of situation would arise.

"Nowadays, lots of people having criminal background are coming to politics," he added.

Tulsi emphasised on the judgement's nature which he said was in conformity with basic fundamental and principle presumption of innocence till found guilty and it was only an advisory to the PM and CMs.

"The judgement has struck the right balance between rights of individuals on one hand and principle of constitution on the other hand," he added.

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