In a major setback for the government, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday dismissed its plea to review an earlier verdict holding that jailbirds can not contest elections during their incarceration.
Supreme Court rejects plea to review verdict on convicts in election. The apex court bank comprising of Justice Sudhanshu Mukhopadhyay and Justice AK Patnaik, referred to the amendment to the Representation of the People Act saying that, “”As a consequence of the aforesaid to the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, a person does not cease to be an elector only because of his being in custody or in prison and therefore can contest election to state assembly and parliament,” according to a Zee News report.
“The review petition is therefore rendered in fructuous,” Justice Mukhopadhyay noted during the verdict.
Meanwhile, additional solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao expressed his mind on the apex court’s stand by saying that review petition may not be looked into since it has become clearly in fructuous.
The Supreme Court, on a July 10 verdict, dismissed an appeal by the Chief Election Commissioner challenging a Patna High Court verdict that stated, “We do not find any infirmity in the findings of the High Court that a person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (5) of Section 62 of the 1951 (Representation of People) Act is not an elector and is therefore not qualified to contest the election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State.”
The Patna High Court ruling also said that, “The name (of a convict undergoing sentence) is not struck off, but the qualification to be an elector and the privilege to vote when in the lawful custody of the police is taken away.”