The government will decide its future course of action on the SC judgments on immediately disqualifying convicted MPs/MLAs and banning those in lawful custody from contesting elections after consulting various political parties, since these verdicts will have widespread ramifications on the country’s politics.
“These judgments are very important and will have a major impact on politics of the country. We will hold consultations with different political parties to decide what further action is required to be taken,” law minister Kapil Sibal said.
Sibal, however, made it clear that the government has not taken any stand on the issue yet, though some political parties have contacted him and expressed their opposition to the SC judgment banning those in police or judicial custody from contesting elections.
Congress and BJP were examining the judgment and their detailed response on the verdict is awaited. The CPI(M) on Friday demanded that the government should seek a review of this judgment which was a clear case of “judicial overreach and will infringe upon the democratic rights of citizens.
”Sources in the government said the judgment suffered from “serious legal infirmities” and did not reflect the spirit of the constitution.
“The judgment appears to be based on an erroneous interpretation of the Representation of People’s Act and there is a widespread apprehension of its misuse. The SC has not given any reasoning and has merely upheld the Patna HC judgment,” said a source.
“Voting is a right guaranteed to any citizen by the Constitution, subject to reasonable restrictions. It can be suspended in some conditions but cannot be terminated. Using such a logic to deny people from contesting elections will lead to a serious situation,” the source said.
The government is analyzing all three judgments of the SC related to election laws over the past week – direction to the EC on election manifestos, immediate disqualification of convicted MPs/MLAs and now the ban on those in custody from contesting elections.