Lok Satta

Thursday, 11 July 2013 09:34

SC ISSUES LANDMARK JUDGEMENT TO PREVENT CRIMINALISATION OF POLITICS

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MEDIA RELEASE

10th JULY 2013, NEW DELHI

 

SC ISSUES LANDMARK JUDGEMENT TO PREVENT CRIMINALISATION OF POLITICS


The Supreme Court today struck down as ultra vires a provision of the Representation of the People Act which protects a convicted lawmakers against disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal against their conviction in the higher courts.

"The only question is about the vires of section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) and we hold that it is ultra vires and that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction," a bench of justices A K Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhaya said.

The court, however, said that its decision will not apply to MPs, MLAs or other lawmakers who have been convicted and have filed their appeals in the higher courts before the pronouncement of this verdict. The provision of RPA says that a lawmaker cannot be disqualified in the event of his conviction in a criminal case if he or she files an appeal in the higher court.

The top court's verdict came on the petitions filed by Lily Thomas and NGO Lok Prahari through its secretary SN Shukla who had sought striking down of various provisions of RPA on the ground that they violate certain constitutional provisions which, among other things, expressly put a bar on criminals getting registered as voters or becoming MPs or MLAs.

The PILs had said that certain sections of RPA allow convicted lawmakers to continue in office while their appeals are pending and thus those provisions are "discriminatory and encourage criminalisation of politics".


Lok Satta Party has been fighting at all levels to prevent criminalisation of politics and this judement of SC will go a long way in removing criminals from politics. We welcome this landmark judgement which we feel will go a long way in removing corrupt politicians from politics and restore politics to a noble work rather than a work to make money or indulge in criminal activity. We hoped the court would have gone forward and even included  people who have filed appeals as many politicians file frivolous appeals in higher courts against verdicts of the lower court feels Shri Anurag Kejriwal, Delhi State President, Lok Satta Party.