Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A day after the Cabinet approved an ordinance to negate a Supreme Court (SC) order disqualifying MPs and MLAs if convicted in a criminal case, the Samajwadi Party (SP) justified the government’s move.
While the Cabinet’s decision has been vehemently opposed by political parties like Bharatiya Janata Party, Biju Janta Dal and Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress led-government got an overwhelming support from its outside ally Samajwadi Party.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav defended Cabinet’s decision saying that that law making is the right of Parliament and the ordinance is absolutely correct.
According to the records, of the 189 legislators facing serious criminal charges, a staggering 111 are from the SP, 29 from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 25 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 13 from the Congress. The remaining 11 are either independents or belong to regional parties.
The records show that of the 403 legislators in the country`s most populous state that sends the largest number of 80 MPs to Parliament, 189 have serious criminal cases - ranging from robbery, murder, rape to kidnapping and extortion - pending against them. Of all the cases pending, 194 invite a minimum two-year prison term.
One of the top offenders is SP legislator from Bikapur Mitrasen Yadav with 36 cases pending against him, of which 14 are of murder.
Another SP legislator, Ramveer Singh, who won from the Jasrana seat, has 18 cases registered against him. Mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtaar Ansari, who won the 2012 state assembly polls on Qaumi Ekta Dal ticket, has 15 serious cases slapped against his name.
The government decision to take the ordinance route came against the backdrop of a Congress MP Rashid Masood facing the prospect of disqualification as he was recently convicted in a case of corruption and other offences.
The Supreme Court on July 10 had ruled that an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.
To negate the Supreme Court order, the government moved to amend the law and brought the Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the last session. However, the bill could not be passed.