Government moves SC against order on convicted lawmakers

The government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its order disqualifying MPs and MLAs from the date that they are convicted.

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: The government on Monday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its order disqualifying MPs and MLAs from the date that they are convicted.

The apex court in far-reaching judgement on July 10 this year had struck down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts. In another judgement the court had said that those persons who were arrested would be debarred from contesting polls. However, those taken in preventive detention were excluded.

The apex court had said MPs, MLAs and MLCs would stand disqualified on the date of conviction. The court had also hit out at the Parliament saying that it had exceeded its powers by enacting the provision (Section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples Act) that gave a convicted lawmaker the power to remain in office, The ground that was given by political parties was that the appeals by the lawmakers against their conviction have been filed and pending.

The bench of justices AK Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhaya had given this landmark judgement.

The move by SC was seen as an attempt at decriminalisation of politics and hailed by certain quarters. However, the verdict by the apex court did not go down well with parties cutting across political lines.

Following the judgement by the Supreme Court, a barrage of petitions seeking its review were filed. One of the petition was filed by the president of Haryana Swatantra Party Ramesh Dayal.

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