Centre considering proposals for lifetime disqualification of politicians convicted in criminal cases
Proposes special courts to deal with cases involving politicians.
New Delhi: The supreme court Wednesday directed the Centre to place before it details regarding 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by politicians at the time of filing their nominations during the 2014 general elections.
The apex court asked the government to apprise it as to how many of these 1,581 cases have been disposed of within one year and how many have ended either in conviction or acquittal of the accused.
A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha also sought the details of criminal cases lodged against politicians from 2014 till date as well as on the disposal of these matters.
The Centre told the bench that decriminalisation of politics has to be done and it was not averse to the setting up of special courts to deal with cases involving politicians and speedy disposal of these matters.
It informed the bench that the recommendations of the Election Commission of India and the Law Commission favouring life-time disqualification of politicians convicted in criminal cases was under the active consideration of the government.
The bench directed the Centre to place before it the scheme for setting up of such special courts and also indicate the amount of funds that could be earmarked for the purpose. While asking the government to place these details before it within six weeks, the court has fixed the matter for hearing on December 13.
The top court was hearing a PIL filed by advocated Ashwini Kumar Upadhya seeking to declare the provisions of the Representation of People (RP) Act, which bar convicted politician from contesting elections for six years after serving jail term, as ultra vires to the Constitution. Several others have become parties in the case as intervenors.
The petitioner has prayed for life-time bar on convicted lawmakers. He has also sought a direction to fix the minimum educational qualification and a maximum age limit for persons contesting polls.
The apex court had on July 12 pulled up the ECI for not taking a clear stand on a plea seeking barring of convicted politicians for life.