Convicted leaders cannot be excluded for life from the polls: government to South Carolina
Sentenced lawmakers cannot be barred from participating in elections for life, the Center told the Supreme Court on Thursday in response to a petition that sought that convicted lawmakers be treated on par with convicted bureaucrats, who are barred from for the life of government service.
Distinguishing between bureaucrats and members of Parliament or state legislatures who are convicted of serious crimes under the Indian Penal Code or other special laws, an affidavit filed by the Ministry of Law and Justice said that while public officials they were governed by “conditions of service”, ”Such conditions do not exist for legislators.
Instead, parliamentarians and judicial deputies are governed by the People’s Representation Law (RP Law), which prescribes a six-year disqualification from contesting the polls for a crime punishable by a prison sentence of two years or more.
The affidavit came in response to a request submitted in a pending PIL filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawyer and leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
In his main petition, Upadhyay had requested the banning of the convicted lawmakers for life. However, in the request, he added a subsequent sentence, challenging the validity of Sections 8 (1), 8 (2), 8 (3) and 9 (1) of the RP Act of 1951, which disqualifies a convicted legislator for a period. six years and five years (per Section 9 (1)).
Upadhyay questioned the different standards of punishment for convicted legislators, on the one hand, and convicted public servants, on the other, and demanded that the same disqualification rule apply to MLA / MPs when they stand for election or head a party. politician.
The affidavit said: “There are no specific conditions of service with respect to elected representatives, although yes, the fact that the representatives of the people are public servants. Elected representatives are normally bound by the oath they have taken to serve the citizens of their constituency in particular and the country in general. Their conduct is subject to decorum, good conscience and they are generally expected to act for the benefit of the nation. “
The affidavit said that while the lifetime disqualification issue was pending in the main petition filed by Upadhyay, there was no need to consider the amended application, which challenged the provisions of the RPA regarding the disbarment of MP / MLA.