The Supreme Court on Thursday said that a plea seeking a direction to the governments of Maharashtra and Delhi to sack ministers Nawab Malik and Satyendar Jain, who were arrested in connection with separate criminal cases and are in judicial custody, would be listed for hearing after it is placed before the Chief Justice of India.
The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a vacation bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, the petitioner in the matter, has also sought a direction to declare that a minister, who is not only a public servant but also a lawmaker, shall be temporarily barred from holding office after two days of judicial custody like public servants including IAS officers.
Upadhyay mentioned the plea for urgent listing claiming that there is “serious violation” of Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution.
“Did you make a mention before the registrar?” the bench said, adding, “Everyday we are saying please make a mention before the registrar and even then if it is not posted, mention before us.” Upadhyay told the bench that one cabinet minister of Maharashtra is in judicial custody while the other one is a cabinet minister of Delhi who is also in judicial custody.
“You have filed it. Make a mention. Most probably it will be posted next week,” the bench said, adding, “….such matters will be posted before the Chief Justice first, then only it will be posted.” The petition has been filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.
“Alternatively, being custodian of the Constitution, direct the Law Commission of India to examine election laws of developed countries and prepare a comprehensive report to maintain nobility, dignity of ministers, legislators and public servants in spirit of Article 14,” the plea has said.
Besides the governments of Delhi and Maharashtra, the plea has made union ministries of Home Affairs and Law and Justice, the Election Commission and the Law Commission as parties.
It has sought a direction to the Maharashtra government to sack its cabinet minister Malik, who was arrested on February 23 and is in judicial custody.
The petitioner has sought similar direction to the Delhi government to sack Jain, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate and is in judicial custody.