Voluntary Code of Conduct | Cabinet Ministers | India
Voluntary Code of Conduct for Cabinet Ministers in India
Supreme Court Constitution Bench discusses the requirement for the legislatures at the center and state level to have a “voluntary model code of conduct” which highlights their private and public activities.
The court is considering whether further limitations should be imposed on the right to free speech and expression of public representatives to safeguard the fundamental right of the citizens to maintain a quality life.
The submissions regarding a code of this nature were made to Justice Arun Mishra’s 5-Judge Bench.
The Court had to recognize this matter after raising two different petitions against Cabinet Minister’s remarks.
Bench in SC of India which consists of at least 5 judges of the court.
The issue was introduced after members of the Bulandshahr rape case victim's family protested about the controversial remarks of former UP Minister Azam Khan that the rape case was part of a political conspiracy against the former Akhilesh Yadav government.
The Bench is also considering a separate petition from a Kerala- based man, Joseph Shine presented by senior lawyer Kaleeswaram Raj, regarding State Minister M.M. Mani’s public statements.
Both Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and Mr. Raj, who advise the Constitutional Bench, opposed the introduction of further limitations.
Mr. Venugopal stated that in the past, the Supreme Court held a definite view against the application of any additional limitations on citizen’s freedom of speech, and public people are not different.
Mr. Raj has pleaded that the court should order the government to create the Cabinet Minister’s Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct should highlight good governance's constitutional ethics and principles. Therefore, the conduct of individuals holding public offices can be liable to better and effective public examination, which guarantees public responsibility, Mr. Raj claimed before the Bench.
Raj stated that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs currently has a code of conduct, which is mainly related to monetary regulation.
The Senior Advocate stated that nothing derives from the code which specifically covers the minister’s private and public activities. It’s so restrictive and ineffective.
Did You Know? Azam Khan – a politician
MP from Rampur
One of the founding members of the Samajwadi Party
Taking into account one’s different public office role, these persons holding public offices can, therefore, be liable to better and more significant public examination.
The Code of Conduct should highlight the principles of the Constitution and good governance concepts.
The views and opinions of Cabinet Minister are also obligated to have a greater impact on public life than any other individual. Therefore, it is necessary to govern.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs even now has a code of conduct for ministers, which focuses on financial management. Currently, the Centre and States’ Code of Conduct requires the statement of assets and liabilities. Additionally, ministers cannot be a part of any profit office or be concerned with, among other things, the performance and operation of any business. This code is so rigid and incomplete and does not discuss the minister’s private and public activities in particular. Therefore, a different code of conduct is required.
Did You Know? Union Ministry of Home Affairs –
currently headed by Amit Shah (Union Minister of Home Affairs)
responsible for the maintenance of internal security and domestic policy
Did You Know? Code of Conduct unnecessary: –
In the context, the Supreme Court has strongly opposed the application of any additional limitations on citizens’ freedom of speech, and public people should not be an exclusion.
In many parts of the government, the previous recommendations are inactive. Thus, current policies, like the use of government vehicles, press conferences, etc. have to be updated.
Components like the behavior of a minister on social media, regulations to be followed when making suggestions, transport approvals and limitations on the use of authorized mansions for political work, getting gifts from foreign diplomats in India and abroad, and visiting private functions must be taken into account in the code of conduct.
The government should develop the Cabinet Ministers’ code of conduct, with the Cabinet head guaranteeing mutual liability for the individual minister’s practices.
The UK’s ministerial code of conduct can act as a model for the current code of conduct.
Did You Know? KK Venugopal – born in 1931
An Indian Constitutional lawyer and senior advocate in SC of India
Appointed as Attorney General of India on 30 June 2017