‘Ethics panel can`t recommend criminal case withdrawal against MLAs
SC has held that Ethics Committee of the legislature has no power to recommend withdrawal of criminal cases against legislators.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
the Ethics Committee of the legislature has no power to
recommend withdrawal of criminal cases against legislators and
slammed Andhra Pradesh government for trying to bail out an
MLA booked in a criminal case.
"The ethics committee had no jurisdiction to make such
recommendations. If the state had acted on the basis of
recommendations made by a body which had no role to play, its
action would be vitiated by law. Recommendations of the Ethics
Committee being unauthorized, the action of the state would
attract the doctrine of malice in law," a bench of Justices S
B Sinha and Deepak Verma said.
The apex court passed the ruling in a judgement
dismissing the appeals filed by the state government and
Congress legislator Yerneni Raja Ramchander against whom
police had booked criminal cases for allegedly submitting
false medical bills on his and wife`s behalf for reimbursement
from public exchequer.
The state had earlier moved an application before a
trial judge in Hyderabad for withdrawal of the criminal cases,
which was rejected and the High Court affirmed the trial
judge`s ruling following which the government and the MLA
appealed in the apex court.
Coming down heavily on the state, the apex court said
the state had shown "unusual alacrity" in withdrawing the
criminal cases against the legislator.