Can’t bar convicted leaders from polls for life: Govt to SC
Convicted lawmakers cannot be debarred from contesting elections for life, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday in response to a petition that sought convicted legislators to be treated on par with convicted bureaucrats, who are debarred for life from government service.
Making a distinction between bureaucrats and members of Parliament or state legislatures who are convicted of serious offences under the Indian Penal Code or other special laws, an affidavit filed by the ministry of law and justice said that while public servants were governed by”‘service conditions,” such conditions do not exist for lawmakers.
Instead, MPs and MLAs are governed by the Representation of the People Act (RP Act), which prescribes a six-year disqualification from contesting polls for an offence that is punishable with a prison sentence of two years and above.
The affidavit came in response to an application moved in a pending PIL filed by lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
In his main petition, Upadhyay had sought debarment of convicted lawmakers for life. However, in the application, he added a subsequent prayer, challenging the validity of Sections 8(1), 8(2), 8(3) and 9(1) of RP Act, 1951, which disqualifies a convicted legislator for a period of six years and five years (under Section 9(1)).
Upadhyay questioned the different standards of punishment for convicted lawmakers on one hand and convicted public servants on the other and demanded that the same rule of debarment must be applied to MLAs/MPs on contesting elections or for heading a political party.
The affidavit said: “There are no specific service conditions laid down in respect of elected representatives albeit, the fact that the people’s representatives are public servants. The elected representatives are ordinarily bound by the oath that they have taken to serve the citizens of their constituency in particular and the country in general. Their conduct is bound by propriety, good conscience and they are expected to generally work in the interest of the nation.”
The affidavit said that while the issue of debarment for life was pending in the main petition filed by Upadhyay, there was no need to entertain the amended application, which challenged the RPA provisions with regard to disqualification of MPs/MLAs.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- A school teacher said more than 200 cows destroyed the kitchen garden and at least 100 plants of flowers, fruits and medicinal plant in the school premises.
- The circular said that all officers and personnel as well as CAPF and any other force deployed for the Republic Day Parade security arrangements should be made aware and be prepared that they will be required for law and order arrangements immediately after the official celebration is over.
- Delhi traffic police requested road users to accordingly plan their journies and avoid the route of parade and tableaux, from 4 am to 12:30 pm for their own convenience.
- According to the FIR registered by the police, the estimated value of the tiger skin that was seized is ₹40 lakh in the international market.
- One CA was arrested on Saturday along with four businessmen in Jaipur for operating 25 fake firms to fraudulently avail and pass on input tax credit.
- While addressing a press conference, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken demanded an explanation of how exactly has the government spent ₹20 lakh crore that it "collected by multiple hikes in excise duty on both petrol and diesel" in last six years.
- The girl claims that the college has withheld her diploma certificate for non-payment of dues.