Convicted lawmakers can’t be debarred from contesting elections for all times, the Centre instructed the Supreme Courtroom on Thursday in response to a petition that sought convicted legislators to be handled on par with convicted bureaucrats, who’re debarred for all times from authorities service.
Making a distinction between bureaucrats and members of Parliament or state legislatures who’re convicted of great offences underneath the Indian Penal Code or different particular legal guidelines, an affidavit filed by the ministry of regulation and justice mentioned that whereas public servants had been ruled by”‘service situations,” such situations don’t exist for lawmakers.
As a substitute, MPs and MLAs are ruled by the Illustration of the Individuals Act (RP Act), which prescribes a six-year disqualification from contesting polls for an offence that’s punishable with a jail sentence of two years and above.
The affidavit got here in response to an software moved in a pending PIL filed by lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP) chief Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
In his most important petition, Upadhyay had sought debarment of convicted lawmakers for all times. Nevertheless, within the software, he added a subsequent prayer, difficult the validity of Sections eight(1), eight(2), eight(three) and 9(1) of RP Act, 1951, which disqualifies a convicted legislator for a interval of six years and 5 years (underneath Part 9(1)).
Upadhyay questioned the completely different requirements of punishment for convicted lawmakers on one hand and convicted public servants on the opposite and demanded that the identical rule of debarment should be utilized to MLAs/MPs on contesting elections or for heading a political occasion.
The affidavit mentioned: “There are not any particular service situations laid down in respect of elected representatives albeit, the truth that the folks’s representatives are public servants. The elected representatives are ordinarily sure by the oath that they’ve taken to serve the residents of their constituency particularly and the nation generally. Their conduct is sure by propriety, good conscience and they’re anticipated to usually work within the curiosity of the nation.”
The affidavit mentioned that whereas the problem of debarment for all times was pending in the principle petition filed by Upadhyay, there was no must entertain the amended software, which challenged the RPA provisions with regard to disqualification of MPs/MLAs.