‘It May Be Morally Wrong To Glorify The Corrupt, But Cannot Interfere’: Madras HC Rejects DMK MLA’s Plea To Remove Jayalalithaa Portrait From TN Assembly [Read Order]

‘It May Be Morally Wrong To Glorify The Corrupt, But Cannot Interfere’: Madras HC Rejects DMK MLA’s Plea To Remove Jayalalithaa Portrait From TN Assembly [Read Order]

The bar on appointment to a responsible position possibly cannot be stretched to be a bar on display of the photograph of a former Chief Minister charged with a serious offence, the Court said.

The Madras High Court has dismissed a plea seeking removal of the portrait of Late J. Jayalalithaa from the precincts of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

The Bench of the Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Qudhhose, while dismissing the writ petition filed by DMK MLA J.Anbazhagan, observed that the bar on appointment to a responsible position possibly cannot be stretched to be a bar on display of the photograph of a former Chief Minister charged with a serious offence.

 “It may be morally wrong to glorify the corrupt. However, in the absence of any law which prohibits display of portraits of a person convicted of corruption, this Court cannot interfere with the display of a photograph on that ground, for that might amount to imposition of a punishment not authorized by law”, the Court said observing that a moral wrong, which is not illegal, cannot be redressed by a Court of law.

The Bench also said that observations by the Supreme Court against the late AIADMK Supremo, after her death, after the appeal against her acquittal had abated, in the appeals relating to some of the co accused do not warrant interference with display of her portrait in the Assembly Hall.

The court also rejected the contention of the MLA, based on Manoj Narula v. Union of India, wherein it was opined that it could always legitimately be expected that regard being had to the role of a Minister in the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister would consider not choosing a person with criminal antecedents to become a Minister. “The expectation is unexceptionable. However, the bar on appointment to a responsible position possibly cannot be stretched to be a bar on display of the photograph of a former Chief Minister charged with a serious offence.”, the Bench said, dismissing his plea.

Read the Order Here