Published on Thursday, July 11, 2013
India's Supreme Court verdict to keep criminals out of power
IANS


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In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court Wednesday declared unconstitutional the provision of the Representation of the People Act that allows elected representatives to continue as members of the elected bodies even after conviction in criminal cases.

"If because of a disqualification a person cannot be chosen as a member of parliament or state legislature, for the same disqualification, he cannot continue as a member of parliament or the state legislature," the court said.

"Parliament does not have the power under Articles 102(1)(e) and 191(1)(e) of the constitution to make different laws for a person to be disqualified for being chosen as a member and for a person to be disqualified for continuing as a member of parliament or the state legislature," said the apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya.

"The language of Articles 102(1)(e) and 191(1)(e) of the constitution is such that the disqualification for both a person to be chosen as a member of parliament or the state legislature or for a person to continue as a member of parliament or the state legislature has to be the same."

The judgment would come into effect from Wednesday.

Justice Patnaik said: "Sitting members of parliament and state legislature who have already been convicted for any of the offences... (and) saved from the disqualifications by virtue of sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act should not, in our considered opinion, be affected by the declaration now made by us in this judgment."

"This is because the knowledge that sitting members of parliament or state legislatures will no longer be protected by sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the act will be acquired by all concerned only on the date this judgment is pronounced by this court," the court said.

"...if any sitting member of parliament or a state legislature is convicted of any of the offence and by virtue of such conviction and/or sentence suffers the disqualifications after the pronouncement of this judgment, his membership of parliament or the state legislature, as the case may be, will not be saved by subsection (4) of Section 8 of the act which we have by this judgment declared as ultra vires the constitution", the court said.

Subsection 4 of Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act permits an elected representative to continue in the legislature or parliament even after he or she has been convicted of a criminal offence, provided he or she gets a stay on the conviction and sentencing by a higher court.

Under this provision of the Act, such a person can even contest elections after the existing house has been dissolved. However, a similar right to contest an election is not available to a convict who is not a member of a state legislature or parliament.

The court said this while allowing two public interest litigations Lily Thomas and NGO Lok Prahari.

The petitioners said subsection 4 of Section 8 of the Act shielded elected representative with criminal antecedents.

Express your comment on this article
 
chitan
Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013
First supreme court judges surrender their black money to the government and ask all polities leaders to surrender their black money to government and implement the new low.
Girish babu
Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013
Let us Welcome this verdict, whole heartedly and force to impliment this verdict. Because, the politicians are not going to allow this verdict to stand and many of them will enforce to cancell this verdict, before implimenting. Most of them are have criminal background in one or the other reasons.
durai
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013
let us all whole heartedly appreciate this wonderful verdict. let us hope the same will be implemented with immediate effect. may we exprct there are no loop holes in this. and we should wait and see our political paty/leaders are going to do? by their action people can understanf the mindset.
ahmed khan
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013
CRIMINALS ARE NOT THERE IN POLITICS , THOSE WHO VOTE FOR THEM ARE CRIMINALS !!! HAHAHAHA
KT
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013
Very good judgement by S.C. This should have brought long back,but seems difficult that The corrupt politician will follow this law.
jo bole so nihaal
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013
heheheh....watta joke... and wat about the crooks who have amassed a fortune for 1000 years already and already had assigned their generation on the power seats.... Wat about the cannibal ...awaiting the ruling of the so-called secular india..
RKS
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013
Awesome decision.


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