President calls ministers for consultation on Ordinance issue

The ordinance has been sent to the President for assent.

New Delhi: With major political parties questioning the controversial ordinance on negating the Supreme Court verdict on lawmakers, President Pranab Mukherjee has called Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Law Minister Kapil Sibal for consultations on the issue.

The call to the two ministers came after a BJP delegation led by L K Advani met the President and asked him to reject the ordinance or refer it back to the government for reconsideration as it is unconstitutional.

BJP contended that the President was not duty bound to give assent to the ordinance that seeks to negate a Supreme Court verdict that struck down the provision in the Representation of the People Act deferring disqualification of convicted lawmakers.
The two ministers will give the President a briefing on the need for bringing the ordinance, official sources said.

There has been an all-round attack on the issue of the ordinance cleared by the Cabinet on Tuesday with the civil society and others criticising the government for trying to protect convicted lawmakers.

The ordinance has been sent to the President for assent.
The measure is aimed at giving a breather to MPs and MLAs who face immediate disqualification on their conviction in a criminal case with a jail term of two years or more.

The move was initiated in the wake of a two-month-old Supreme Court verdict which ruled that an MP, an MLA or an MLC would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.

The government had moved the apex court for a review earlier this month which was rejected.