Government mulls constitutional amendment on disqualification of MPs, MLAs - The New Indian Express

Government mulls constitutional amendment on disqualification of MPs, MLAs

Published: 09th August 2013 08:04 PM

Last Updated: 09th August 2013 09:19 PM

With the Election Commission implementing the Supreme Court judgement on disqualification of convicted MLAs and MPs, government is working overtime to negate the order by seeking a review and even trying to bring parties on board for a constitutional amendment.

Highly placed sources in the Law Ministry said on Friday that while the government is likely to file a review in the coming days, it is also mulling the option of bringing a constitutional amendment bill if it gets the support of the political parties.

While there is a unanimity among political parties against the SC verdict, government would move cautiously before amending the Constitution.

In its July 10 verdict, the apex court had struck down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts.

It had also made it clear that MPs, MLAs and MLCs would stand disqualified on the date of conviction.

"We also hold that the provisions of Article 101(3)(a) and 190(3)(a) of the Constitution expressly prohibit Parliament to defer the date from which the disqualification will come into effect in case of a sitting member of Parliament or a State Legislature.

"Parliament, therefore, has exceeded its powers conferred by the Constitution in enacting sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the (RP) Act and accordingly sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act is ultra vires to the Constitution," it had said.

The Constitutional amendment bill is likely to deal with this part of the judgement.

"Talks with various political parties are on...whatever decision is taken will be based on consensus," Law Minister Kapil Sibal had said recently on the issue.

He had made it clear that the government may approach the apex court for a review of its order and also go for a "legislative remedy" by amending the current laws.

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