Government rejected Opposition demand for dismissal of Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Monday, arguing that only charges have been framed against him and he has not been convicted.
"Just because charges have been framed against him, there is no justification for his dismissal," Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj told reporters here responding to the demand by the National Democratic Alliance.
He said Lalu cannot be removed till he is convicted. "When somebody becomes an MP, he is qualified for becoming a minister. A minister can be disqualified only when he incurs some disqualification," Bhardwaj said.
The law minister noted that charge has already been framed against Lalu in a Patna court which is still being heard. "Just because of framing of charges, one does not become eligible for disqualification. Disqualification is post conviction," he said.
NDA demanded Lalu's dismissal from Union Cabinet following his being chargesheeted in the fodder scam.