A  five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, however, stopped short of prescribing disqualification for such people from becoming ministers, leaving it to the wisdom of the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers not to recommend such names to the President and Governor.
    
Observing that it cannot add disqualification in article 75 (1) (appointment of PM and Council of Ministers), the bench, however, said that the PM and CMs should not consider people with criminal antecedents and against whom charges have been framed in serious offences, including corruption, for appointment as ministers.

                             HIGHLIGHTS
SC asks PM not to appoint tainted politicians as ministers
SC leaves appointment of ministers to PM
Article 75 (1) of Constitution empowers PM to appoint anyone as minister
Constitution reposes immense trust in PM and CMs who are expected to act with responsibility
Constitution has already suggested that there should be no politician with criminal record in Cabinet
UPA sought to bring bill shielding tainted politicians
SC barred Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rashid Masood from contesting polls

It further said that the Constitution reposes immense trust in the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers and they are expected to act with constitutional responsibility and morality.
    
It said that the Prime Minister has been regarded repository of constitutional trust and he should act in national interest.
    
"We are saying nothing more, nothing less and it is left on the wisdom of the PM to decide," the bench said, adding this is also applicable to CMs.
    
PM and CMs will be well advised not to include such people in their ministry, it said.
    
The bench passed the order on a PIL seeking its direction restraining the Centre and State governments from appointing people with criminal background as ministers.
    
The bench also comprising justices Dipak Misra, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and S A Bobde passed unanimous verdict in the matter with two judges giving separate opinions.

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