Supreme Court agrees to hear review plea on judgement disqualifying convicted lawmakers

Supreme Court agrees to hear review plea on judgement disqualifying convicted lawmakers
New Delhi The Supreme Court has agreed to hear petitions seeking review of it two landmark verdicts - disqualifying MPs, MLAs on being convicted and debarring jailed persons from contesting elections.

The petitions will be heard on September 4 in open court. Normally, review petitions are decided in the chambers of judges.

On July 10, the top court had said that lawmakers have to quit if they are convicted of a crime and can't stay on regardless of appeals to higher courts.

The Supreme Court had struck down a provision in the Representation of the People's Act (RPA) that protects convicted MPs and MLAs from disqualification if they appeal to a higher court.

The verdict won't affect lawmakers who have already filed appeals against their conviction.

The Supreme Court, in another judgement on the same day, had said that people in jail or in police custody can't contest election to legislative bodies.

On Monday, the Centre had moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a relook on the two landmark judgements.

The Centre contended that protecting convicted MPs and MLAs from disqualification during pendency of appeal is necessary "to protect the House and to ensure that governance is not adversely impacted".

Nearly 150 of the 543 current members of Parliament have criminal cases pending against them, according to a study by two non-government organisations, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).

According to the survey based on poll affidavits, some 15 MPs have at least one murder charge against them.
Story First Published: August 16, 2013 22:13 IST

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