SC stands by its order on disqualifying convicted MPs, MLAs
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to review its verdict that an MP or MLA convicted of any criminal offence attracting a punishment of two years and above will be disqualified immediately but agreed to re-look its other judgement debarring arrested persons from contesting polls.
The apex court, however, said that Parliament is free to amend law if it does not agree with interpretation of law given by the Supreme Court.
A bench of justices A K Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhyay said that it would hear review plea on the limited ground whether disqualification mentioned in the constitution bars an arrested person from contesting election or not.
It also raised questioned on why Centre preferred not to argue the case when the matter was being heard.
It also said that the Representation of People`s Act is "clumsy" which caused the confusion and said that "The object of the provision was to keep the person with criminal background away from election."
"Parliament frames laws in the manner they like. If we make interpretation of law and if it is not accepted by it (Parliament), its again for Parliament to enact a law," it said.
Referring to its July 10 judgement that convicted legislatures would be disqualified as members of the House, the bench said, "There is no error on the face of the law but there can be on interpretation. We found that there are lacunae in law in this regard which can be considered by the legislatures."
It said since there was no error in its verdict. Parliament accepted it and came out with the Amendment Bill in RPA which was pased by Rajya Sabha.
"We are not inclined. It is a well considered judgement. Everybody should accept it. We are glad that Parliament has accepted," it said, adding, "We don`t find any error apparent in the judgement of July 10. Hence, it (review petition) is dismissed."
The bench also said that Parliament can go ahead with the amendment saying "We don`t want to stall the legislators who have come out with the bill."
While agreeing to have a fresh look at the issue of
arrested persons prohibited from entering the electoral fray, the bench said this matter was not argued well keeping in view the Constitutional provision.
It said it will consider the issue of disqualification by taking into account Article 102 of the Constitution which deals with disqualification of membership as well as the provisions contained in the electoral law.
The Centre contended that protecting convicted MPs and MLAs from disqualification during pendency of appeal is necessary "to protect the House and to ensure that governance is not adversely impacted".
The apex court had on July 10 held that an MP or MLA convicted of 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 the 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.
Interestingly, 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.
It had said Parliament has exceeded its powers by enacting the provision (Section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples Act) that gives a convicted lawmaker the power to remain in office on the ground that appeals have been filed and pending.
It had also said that a person, who is in jail or in police custody, cannot contest election to legislative bodies, bringing to an end an era of undertrial politicians fighting polls from behind bars.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class X Board Results 2015 to declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Salman Khan's `Bajrangi Bhaijaan` teaser to be out in two days?
- What couldn't be done in last 10 years, NDA govt did in one year: Smriti Irani in Amethi