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India court pressures Modi on 'criminal' cabinet ministers

Published on Aug 27, 2014 4:07 PM
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves while leaving the Brics-Unasur Summit at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on July 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's top court said Monday lawmakers with criminal backgrounds should not serve in government, with 13 ministers facing charges for attempted murder, rioting and other offences.

The ruling is likely to put pressure on right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who swept to power this year pledging clean governance.

The Supreme Court ruled that Modi should be left to choose his own cabinet, but said it hoped the premier would ultimately take into account public expectations and India's democratic values.

"We leave it to the wisdom of the prime minister to see whether people with criminal backgrounds are appointed as ministers," Justice Dipak Misra told the court.

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