`Misunderstanding` on ordinance on convicted lawmakers: Manish Tewari
New Delhi: There is some kind of "misunderstanding" on the intent and purport of the ordinance on convicted lawmakers and its contour needs to be understood in entirety, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said here on Friday.
"I think there is some kind of misunderstanding with regard to the intent and purport of the ordinance. There is nothing which the executive has taken upon itself.
"We have entirely left it to the discretion of courts. That if at all the courts come to this conclusion that the conviction deserves to be stayed, then under those circumstances the principles of natural justice entail that the person in question be permitted to attend the proceedings of the House," Tewari said.
He said there is a need to understand the contour of the ordinance in its entirety.
"All that the ordinance envisages is that in case a legislator is convicted by a court of law and then a superior court decides to stay that conviction, then under those circumstances, the person in question would be entitled to attend the proceedings of the House. (He will) not vote, not draw salaries or allowances," the Minister said.
This is the same principle which is applied by courts with regard to election petitions which also come within the purview of the Representation of People Act, he said.
"When an election petition is filed and if the High Court was to hold somebody guilty of corrupt practices and then he goes to appeal, the usual practise followed by courts is that when the conviction is stayed during pendency of the appeal, then the person in question is allowed to attend the proceedings of the House," Tewari said.
"On the substantive aspect of the ordinance, I think the intent, purport and the larger structure needs to ensure that the principle of natural justice apply equally, fairly and across the board", he said during a joint press conference with Minister of State in Prime Minister`s Office V Narayanasamy.
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