A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking sacking of Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik and Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
Filed under Article 32 of the Constitution, the writ petition sought to ensure that any Minister, who was not only a public servant under Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 2(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, but also a lawmaker and took constitutional oath under Schedule-3, should be temporarily debarred from holding the office, after two days in judicial custody.
This petition was filed by Advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay through Advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey.
Delhi Health Minister Jain was arrested on May 31, 2022, under charges of acquiring black money, benami properties, money laundering, ghost companies and disproportionate assets. He is currently in judicial custody.
Malik, a Cabinet Minister in Maharashtra government, was arrested on February 23, 2022 in similar cases, registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
He was also accused of having links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Both are presently in judicial custody.
As per the PIL, permitting criminals to become legislators results in the breakdown of the rule of law, both in terms of the government machinery, as well as the system of administration of justice.
This Apex Court must take steps to deter criminals from becoming legislators, as also to uphold the rule of law inherent in Article 14.
Alternatively, being the custodian of the Constitution, the Supreme Court should direct the Law Commission to examine the election laws of developed countries and prepare a comprehensive report to maintain nobility and dignity of Ministers, Legislators and Public Servants, in spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution.
The petition further stated that unlike public servants, Ministers like Nawab Malik and Satyendar Jain were still enjoying constitutional position, even while being in judicial custody for long time, which was arbitrary and contrary to Article 14.
The petition further submitted that an MLA or MP has to be present in the House on all days of its sitting. Restriction on him from absence from the House is to the extent that he has to seek leave of Speaker for his absence.
Not only this, he can be disqualified, if he absents from sitting for 60 days. Besides being required to be present in all sittings of House, he also spends time to participate in the Standing Committees of which he may be selected as member. The MPs are also responsible for developmental work in his Constituency for which he is allocated a sum of Rs.5 crore per year under MPLAD scheme. He has not only to initiate bill but also ensure through his through his supervision the implementation of the same. He has to adopt one undeveloped village every year under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana and develop it.