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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Govt goes slow on shielding convicted netas

Nagendar Sharma , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 06, 2013
First Published: 23:55 IST(6/9/2013) | Last Updated: 09:29 IST(7/9/2013)

Faced with a lack of political unanimity and wary of going against popular sentiment, the government on Friday decided against rushing through the bill to reverse the Supreme Court judgment which disqualifies MPs/MLAs convicted for any offence punishable with over two years in jail. 

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With the bill set to be referred to a parliamentary committee, there will be no immediate relief for any MP/MLA who would be convicted by a court atleast during the next three months.

The Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013, was taken up for discussion and passing in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, but BJP leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Ravi Shankar Prasad strongly objected to only one hour being allotted for discussion.

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Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley made it clear to the government that the BJP wanted a detailed discussion on the bill. "The bill is serious and requires a serious debate," he said.

The government then agreed to defer it by a day and sensing the mood that some parties including the BJP and Janata Dal (United) may not play ball in case it tried to push the bill on Friday, finally decided to postpone it till the winter session of Parliament.

The bill states that a convicted MP/MLA won't be disqualified if an appeal is filed within 90 days and the court stays the conviction and the sentence.

It makes it clear "that the MP/MLA shall neither be entitled to vote nor draw salary and allowances."

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