New Delhi, September 04, 2013
SC refuses to consider govt plea on convicted MPs, MLAs
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to consider the government's plea seeking review of the court's verdict that MPs and MLAs stand disqualified on being convicted in criminal cases.
On July 10, the top court ruled that a legislator stood disqualified if convicted of a criminal offence attracting a sentence of two or more years in jail. It also declared as unconstitutional a provision in the Representation of People's Act that allows a convicted legislator to continue in office on challenging his conviction, and said Parliament had acted beyond its powers in enacting the provision.
A second verdict barred a person who was in jail or in police custody from contesting elections.
The Cabinet, after getting wide support from political parties, on August 22 gave its nod to a proposal under which such MPs and MLAs will retain their membership till pendency of appeal but will be barred from voting and drawing salary.
The proposal, in the form of Amendments to the Representation of People Act, will ensure that a lawmaker cannot be disqualified after conviction if his or her appeal is pending before a court and sentence is stayed.
Of 4,835 MPs and MLAs in India, 1,448 are facing criminal charges, 641 of them for heinous crimes. Of 543 Lok Sabha MPs, 162 have pending criminal cases; 75 of them face serious charges.