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Supreme Court studying code of conduct for Ministers

The Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court of India.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Bench examining “greater restrictions” on Ministers’ right to free speech

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the possibility of enforceability ought to be explored if a new code of conduct is framed for Ministers at the Centre and in the States.

The Bench, led by Justice Arun Mishra, is examining whether “greater restrictions” should be imposed on Ministers’ right to free speech. “If we ask the government to frame a code of conduct, it is necessary and desirable to make it enforceable,” Justice Mishra told senior lawyer Kaleeswaram Raj, appearing for Joseph Shine, one of the petitioners.

The issue, which was referred to a Constitution Bench in April 2017, was based on a petition filed by the family members of the Bulandshahr rape case victim, who were enraged by then Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan’s statement that the case was part of a conspiracy against the Akhilesh Yadav government.

Mr. Raj said the government and the legislature should be asked by the court to formulate a “voluntary code of conduct with respect to the personal and public lives of Ministers and to publish it after finalising the same based on due deliberations”.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 11:16:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-studying-code-of-conduct-for-ministers/article30619550.ece

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