Sunday, June 14, 2015

Should Sushma Swaraj resign?

There is no reason why Sushma Swaraj need not resign. She has knowingly helped Lalit Modi in his travel from England to Portugal while at the same time GOI is pursuing a criminal case against him through Enforcement Directorate. This cannot be dismissed as a humanitarian act as sought to be justified by the minister. This is not just a political indiscretion. The minister has committed an act which smacks of impropriety and cronyism if not outright an act of corruption.

There is a web of association between Lalit Modi and Sushma Swaraj. Her daughter was in the legal team that assisted Lalit Modi in the passport case. This is like Nalini Chidambaram arguing a case against GOI when Chidambaram was a minister. If the latter is improper, so is the former. Of course, the Chidambarams have been more egregious and consistently so ! As a Supreme Court lawyer, Sushma's husband handles the cases of many persons at least some of whom look for quid pro quo from the minister.

Is demanding the minister's resignation prudish? Perhaps Manmohan Singh's ministers did incomparably worse things. But UPA is not a sanguine benchmark. If one minister is allowed to escape from consequences of an improper act, we can expect other ministers to be equally reckless and morally deficient under the cloak of humanitarianism. Humanitarianism, real or ostensible, cannot be an excuse for criminal infraction, habitual or stray.

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