New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that though there was no bar on the prime minister recommending any person to be a minister in the government, being a custodian of constitutional morality and trust, he is expected not to make tainted people ministers.
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.
Referring to the constituent assembly debates, Justice Dipak Misra referred to first president Rajendra Prasad who said that "many things cannot be written in the constitution, but are followed by convention".
“Those in conflict with law and involved in offences of moral turpitude and corruption should not be allowed to discharge duty as ministers,” the court said. “Constitution reposes immense trust in PM and CMs and they are expected to act with responsibility and with constitutional morality,” it added.
The court said the constitutional functionaries are expected to uphold trust reposited in them by the people and the cherished values of democracy. The top court also added that it cannot pass directions for disqualification of Ministers facing criminal and corruption charges.
Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph delivered separate judgments while concurring with a majority judgment delivered by Justice Misra.