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Kiran Bedi welcomes SC verdict, says it will end criminalization of politics

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s observation over the disqualification of ministers facing criminal charges, saying it will end the criminalization of politics.

Bedi said the onus is now on the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers.

“So, therefore, politicians with strong criminal records, particularly charged people, may now find it easy now to become ministers. And if they are then the onus is on the Prime Minister or the Chief Ministers to explain why. So, I think it is not going to be that easy,” Bedi told ANI here.

“Earlier, it was so simple. Even convicted continue to be in Parliament and members of the assembly. Now, no question. So, I think it’s a landmark direction,” she added.

Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi also welcomed the apex court’s decision and said it is a beautiful suggestion to keep tainted people away.

“It reflects the people’s feelings. It should be accepted. To make India a better democracy, it is extremely essential that the government must keep away the tainted people, especially chargesheeted, from the Cabinet,” she said in Lucknow.

Former Delhi High Court judge R.S. Sodhi, however, said the Supreme Court’s ruling is a suggestion of a moral binding by a constitutional forum.

“The Supreme Court has also not given judicial verdict but it has certainly delivered a moral lecture, saying morality demands tainted ministers should not be taken in the Cabinet. This is not a judicial binding, so what would be its impact? It is a moral binding. It was there earlier also and now also. Yes, it is true that now you have a suggestion by a constitutional forum that this should not happen,” he said.

Sending a strong message that people against whom criminal and corruption charges have been framed be not inducted as ministers, the apex court earlier in the day said Prime Minister and Chief Ministers should desist from making such appointments and act in ‘national interest’. (ANI)