Parl overrules SC, protects convicted MP-MLAs

PTI, NEW DELHI | 24 September 2013 22:12 IST

An ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs from facing immediate disqualification was approved by the Union Cabinet on Monday, in effect negating an earlier order of the Supreme Court.

The government decided to bring the ordinance after failing to get a Bill to this effect passed in parliament during the recent monsoon session, sources said.

The government's decision to take the ordinance route came against the backdrop of a Congress MP, Rashid Masood, facing the prospect of disqualification after he was recently convicted in a case of corruption and other offences.

On July 10, the Supreme Court had ruled that an MP or MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.

To negate the Supreme Court order, the government moved to amend the law and brought the Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the last session. However, the Bill could not be passed.

 

The ordinance will allow convicted legislators to continue in office, if the appeal against their conviction is admitted by a higher court within 90 days.

ln its July ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the legal provision that protects a lawmaker from disqualification even after conviction in a criminal case.

The Supreme Court ruled that MPs or MLAs shall stand disqualified from holding the membership of the house from the date of conviction in a trial court.

The court held Section 8(4) of the Representation of the Peoples Act as ultra vires. The section allows a convicted lawmaker to remain in office till the pendency of appeal.

As many as 31 per cent MPs), MLAs and MLCs have criminal cases pending against them, according to a study done by the National Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms.

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IAC must support Aam Aadmi Party. Arvind Kejriwal is Secular & Honest. Goans must vote Aam Aadmi Party. Aam Aadmi Party is Honest and Secular.

- John Ferns, Goa | 24 th September 2013 22:24

 

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