New Delhi: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to stay the proceedings to amend the electoral law to nullify its two landmark verdicts disqualifying MPs and MLAs on conviction and debarring arrested persons from contesting polls.
The application filed by President of Haryana Swatantra Party Ramesh Dalal submitted that the amendment should not be brought by Parliament till the apex court decides the review pleas filed by him, the Centre and other political parties against the two landmark judgements.
"The Amendment Bill is being proceeded by the Union of India without waiting for the logical end of the review petitions. With this reason, it is against the provision of the Constitution and hence the amendment proceedings in Parliament is not only unconstitutional but also an attempt to create a public opinion that there is direct conflict between the judiciary and the executive or the legislature," the petition said.
"The Parliament cannot amend a statutory or constitutional provison till the review petition is decided on the same subject by the court," it said.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear review petitions in an open court on September 4 against the verdicts.
A bench of justices AK Patnaik and SJ Mukhopadhaya decided to hear the review plea, which is normally decided by judges in chamber, in open court and posted the matter for heaing on September 4.
The apex court had on July 10 held that an MP or MLA
convicted for any criminal offence attracting a punishment of two years and above will be disqualified immediately and a person, who is in jail or in police custody, cannot contest election to legislative bodies.
It had declared as unconstitutional a provision in Section 8(4) of Representation of the People Act that says a convicted legislator can continue in office if he or she appeals in a higher court within three months of the conviction. The verdicts have been widely opposed by politicians cutting across party lines.
The government justified the protective provision for elected member on the ground that the rate of acquittal in Indian judicial system is high and if the elected member is once disqualified on being convicted, then his membership of the House cannot be restored after his acquittal.