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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Ordinance to protect lawmakers not backdoor method: Congress

PTI  New Delhi, September 24, 2013
First Published: 19:40 IST(24/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:47 IST(24/9/2013)

Congress on Tuesday rejected criticism on the issue of an ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs from facing immediate disqualification, saying such a measure is "not a backdoor method" as it has to go to Parliament.

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"Ordinance is not an undemocratic act by any government. It is not a backdoor method. It has to have the nod of Parliament. It will go before Parliament in the very next session," party spokesperson PC Chacko told reporters in Delhi.

The government is likely to consider an ordinance today to protect convicted MPs and MLAs from facing immediate disqualification after having failed to get a Bill to this effect passed in Parliament.

It had recently introduced the Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha to overturn the Supreme Court judgement that lawmakers convicted of crimes with punishment of two years or more face immediate disqualification.

With Parliament not being able to pass a law to negate a Supreme Court verdict, lawmakers convicted in criminal cases with imprisonment of two years or more face the prospect of immediate disqualification.

Sources said the conviction of Congress MP Rashid Masood in a case of corruption and other offences has made Government weigh the options on bringing an ordinance in this regard.

Once the quantum of punishment is pronounced by a CBI court next month, Masood faces the prospects of losing his membership of Rajya Sabha as the July 10 order of the apex court is now the law of the land. He could be the first MP to lose his seat after the SC verdict.

The fate of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, whose party is supporting the government from outside, is also to be decided in fodder scam case on September 30.

Chacko, however, ruled out any such consideration and said that the government favoured a legislation and had the entire agenda of business been carried out in the Monsoon session, this would have been done.


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