New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed as infructuous the government`s plea seeking a review of its verdict holding that jailbirds can`t contest elections as they forfeit their right to vote during their incarceration as it stands nullified following an amendment to the Representation of the People Act.
Referring to the amendment to the Representation of the People Act, the apex court bench of Justice AK Patnaik and Justice Sudhanshu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya said, "As a consequence of the aforesaid to the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, a person does not cease to be an elector only because of his being in custody or in prison and therefore can contest election to state assembly and parliament."
"The review petition is therefore rendered infructuous", said Justice Patnaik in his order dictated in the court.
At the outset of the hearing, Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao said review petition has become infructuous and may not be gone into.
The apex court by its July 10 verdict while dismissing an appeal by the Chief Election Commissioner challenging the Patna High Court order had said that: "We do not find any infirmity in the findings of the High Court that a person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (5) of Section 62 of the 1951 (Representation of People) Act is not an elector and is therefore not qualified to contest the election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State."
The court had said this while upholding the Patna High Court judgment which said though: "The name (of a convict undergoing sentence) is not struck off, but the qualification to be an elector and the privilege to vote when in the lawful custody of the police is taken away."