SC verdict likely Tuesday on pleas seeking disqualification of lawmakers on framing of charges

Presently, lawmakers are barred under the Representation of Peoples (RP) Act from contesting elections only after their conviction in a criminal case.

Published: 24th September 2018 08:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2018 10:14 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Image of the Supreme Court used for representational purposes (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court’s verdict on whether politicians against whom criminal charges have been framed by a court of law should be debarred from contesting polls, is likely on Tuesday.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will be delivering its verdict on the issue after reserving it last month. The Centre has opposed the PIL seeking to remove lawmakers with criminal backgrounds.

At present, the law provides for disqualification of MPs and MLAs only after they are convicted in criminal cases.

The Bench, which also includes Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra will deliver its verdict on a PIL filed in 2011 by Public Interest Foundation which demanded debarring of politicians facing serious criminal charges in order to de-criminalise Indian politics.

Ruling out any judicial legislation to check criminals entering Parliament and state legislatures, the Bench had last month wondered if it can ask the Election Commission (EC) not to allot symbols to recognised political parties' candidates facing serious criminal charges, even as the NDA government vehemently opposed it.

The Bench had said it would consider directing the EC to ask political parties to get their members disclose criminal cases against them to enable voters to know about "alleged crooks" attempting to enter the legislature.

During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal had told the Bench that Article 102 provided for Parliament to make law on the issue and hence the top court should leave it to the wisdom of the parliamentarians.

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