New Delhi: Under attack over government`s decision to bring an ordinance on convicted lawmakers, Congress on Wednesday said it aimed at "protecting the dignity of the Constitution" and denied individuals are being protected.
Party spokesperson Raj Babbar denied suggestions that the ordinance was rushed through to protect some leaders belonging to Congress and supporting parties.
"Individuals are not being protected. The dignity of the Constitution is being protected. We have protected the Constitution."
"If a person convicted by a court is later freed by a higher court and in the meanwhile he is disqualified, then questions will be raised," Babbar said.
The Congress spokesperson said the move does not mean that any attempt has been made to abolish anything, when asked why the government chose to bring the ordinance to undo a Supreme Court judgement and to protect MPs and MLAs who face immediate disqualification on their conviction in a criminal case with a jail term of two years.
"What the Supreme Court had said has been accepted. The salary of convicted persons will be stopped immediately and he will not be given the right to vote," Babbar claimed adding "conviction means final conviction".
He said the decision to bring the Ordinance was "not only of the government but of legal experts as well".
Babbar said the Ordinance had to be brought as the opposition did not allow a debate on it when the Bill was brought before Parliament and that it will come up again in Parliament in the Winter Session to be converted into a bill.
"If any change has to be brought in, it can be done there," he said.
The BJP has attacked the government saying its decision to promulgate an ordinance on convicted MPs is an attempt to make "cheats, frauds, murderers" and the likes as lawmakers.