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Centre seeks review of ruling on disqualification of tainted MPs, MLAs
Updated: Apr 21, 2014 05:30 AM , By J. Venkatesan | 3 comments

The Union government on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of the judgment, which held that charge sheeted MPs and MLAs, on conviction of the offences for which they are charged, will be immediately disqualified from holding membership of the House without being given three months time for appeal.

On July 10, a Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and S.J. Mukhopadhaya struck down as unconstitutional Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People (RP) Act that gives convicted lawmakers three months for filing appeal to the higher court and to get a stay of the conviction and the sentence.

The Centre said the Bench had overlooked the Constitution Bench judgment in K. Prabhakaran Vs P. Jayarajan etc, which upheld the applicability and operation of Section 8 (4). “The Constitution Bench has held that a by-election may have to be held [in the event of disqualification of MP/MLA concerned] which may prove to be futile and the fact that the government may be surviving on a razor edge thin majority and disqualification would have a deleterious effect on the functioning of the government. This is a sufficient reason for Parliament to classify the sitting members of a House into a separate category.”

The Division Bench, the Centre said, did not appreciate the ratio in the Prabhakaran judgment inasmuch as it held that once the House had come into existence and if a member was convicted and sentenced, such a situation should be dealt with on a different footing. “The stress is not merely on the right of an individual to contest an election or to continue as a member of a House, but the very existence and continuity of a House democratically constituted.”

The Centre said the purpose of carving out an exception in Section 8 (4) was not to confer an advantage on sitting MPs or MLAs but to protect the House/Legislature.

The Centre sought an oral hearing (instead of being decided by the judges in the chambers) as the issues raised were of paramount national interest having constitutional ramifications.

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  • It is surprising to see that the centre ie seeking a relook on its two landmark judgements disqualifying MPs and MLAs on being convicted and debarring arrested persons from contesting polls. A convicted person/arrested person should not be allowed to contest any election...................
    From: jithendran
    Posted: Aug 12, 2013 at 21:59 IST
  • No any political party wants to reform electoral system in India. Law making power is already in their hands. No any party will desire to be criminal free .
    From: J.Das
    Posted: Aug 12, 2013 at 20:36 IST
  • Govt can ask for more time but not an amendment to this act.
    From: K Kiran Kumar
    Posted: Aug 12, 2013 at 20:19 IST