SC not to modify ruling on disqualification of convicted MPs

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The Supreme Court of India on Monday rejected a plea for modifying an earlier judgment on disqualification of MPs and MLAs convicted of serious offences.

SC not to modify ruling on disqualification of convicted MPs. The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea seeking modification of an earlier ruling on disqualification of MPs and MLAs convicted of serious offences. The plea was filed by Lok Prahri, an NGO who wanted the apex court’s ruling to be imposed on sitting lawmakers who were held guilty of serious offences prior to the landmark judgment.

“Exemption to already convicted sitting members is not in accordance with Articles of the Constitution which provide that the disqualification shall be effective instantly…..It is also not in consonance with the intention of the framers of the Constitution.” the petition read.

According to the original SC judgment, only those lawmakers, who have been found guilty by the judiciary after the pronouncement of the landmark verdict, can be disqualified from their positions as MP or MLA.

“If the vacancies in both the houses have not been notified, the cause of action for petitioner would be a fresh one,” the division bench comprising of justices A.K. Sikri and A.K. Patnaik said.

“This court has considered and given reasons as why the July 10 judgement would be applicable to the sitting member of Parliament to incur disqualification under section 8(1), (2) and (3) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) from the date of judgement,” it added.

Meanwhile, the NGOs second plea seeking a direction to concerned authorities for declaring the seats of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Congress leader Rasheed Masood (both convicted of criminal charges) vacant was also rejected by the court on the ground that notifications had already been issued for their disqualification.

The apex court clarified its stand saying: “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.”

Under the RPA Section 8 (3), anybody convicted of an offence that amounts to at least two years of imprisonment, shall remain disqualified through the jailed term and a further six years after release.