Govt to amend Representation of People`s Act: Report

The government on Tuesday decided to challenge the Supreme Court ruling that bars lawmakers convicted of a crime and jailed persons from contesting polls.

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2013, 16:11 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday decided to challenge the Supreme Court ruling that bars lawmakers convicted of a crime and jailed persons from contesting polls.

According to reports, the Union cabinet is also due to discuss amendments on the Representation of People`s Act on Thursday to overturn the ruling that would enable the convicted lawmakers to participate in House proceedings but restrict them from voting or getting any allowances.
At an all-party meeting held earlier, the leaders had expressed their dissent over the Supreme Court`s ruling. Concerns were expressed by parties that the supremacy of Parliament must be maintained and if required amendments must be brought in the Constitution.

Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath had said that is already a consensus to amend the Act.

In a landmark ruling that can cleanse politics of criminal elements, the Supreme Court had struck down the legal provision that protects a lawmaker from disqualification even after conviction in a criminal case.
The Supreme Court had ruled that MPs or MLAs shall stand disqualified from holding the membership of the House from the date of conviction in a trial court.

The court held Section 8(4) of the Representation of the Peoples Act as ultra vires. The section allows a convicted lawmaker to remain in office till the pendency of appeal. This ruling could see several lawmakers in both Parliament and state assemblies lose their seats.