New Delhi: Bhartiya Janata Party ( BJP ) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court was wise in not laying down the law on disqualification of ministers.
Swamy told ANI, "I think, therefore, the Supreme Court was wise in not laying down the law, because it would have been improper. So, they have done the second best thing and that is an appeal to the conscience of the Prime Minister to try and find out people with clean background."
"It is correct judgement, because strictly speaking the Supreme Court has to go by the law. If there is no law they can't make one, because the power of making law is with the Parliament of India. Now the law is essentially codified in the representation of people's act, which has restrictions on who you would consider as of people with criminal background", he added.
Citing an example, Swamy said, "Supposing there is an FIR, you can't say that the person is having a criminal background. Or even a police charge sheet is not a criminal background. If the charges are framed by the court, after hearing the police version and the defence of the accused, then you can make a case. But even then the law is not presently very clear. Although, last time it was passed as an amendment."
"Now the real question is whether the Prime Minster and the President, lot of politicians, whom he wants to make as ministers, whether they can find people who don't have any cases at all. There are some people I know, I can name a few. But that does not means that the Prime Minister wants to make them the minister. So, this is the difficulty that the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister will face", added Swamy.
The court was hearing a plea on whether ministers with criminal cases against them can continue to be a part of the government.
A five bench judge headed by Chief Justice of India RM Lodha delivered the verdict saying that it was the prerogative of the prime minister and chief ministers to do so.
According to certain estimates, more than thirty percent of the ministers in the present government have a criminal background.