Bigger SC bench for tainted ministers
REJECTING THE government's plea against judicial intervention in the area, the Supreme Court on Friday said it would look into the legality of persons of criminal background and those facing serious charges holding the post of a minister, whether at the Centre or in the states.
"Having regard to the magnitude of the problem and its vital importance, it's proper that the petition be heard by a Constitution bench of five judges," a two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, directed after hearing all sides.
The court accordingly issued notices both to the Centre and the states (through their advocates general) seeking their response on the issue. The states have been asked to file their replies within four weeks. The court, however, deleted the names of the prime minister and several tainted central ministers named in the public-interest petition filed by one Manoj Narula. Specific names need not be taken, it said.