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SC rejects plea against unseating convicted lawmakers

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Sep 04, 2013 16:20 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday threw out the central government's plea to recall its order that held as void a provision of the Representation of the People Act that shielded elected representatives from being unseated after being convicted for criminal offences.

The apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya told Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhad, "You have no case. It is a well considered judgment" and parliament has accepted it.

"We have heard the additional solicitor general. We don't find any error of law apparent in our judgment" holding void Sub-section 4 of Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, the court said.

The court July 10 held as unconstitutional the Sub-section 4 of Section 8 of the Act.

"Our judgment continues...even without (proposed) amendment...", said Justice Patnaik.

The apex court in July declared as unconstitutional the provision of the Representation of the People Act (Sub-section 4 of Section 8) that allowed elected representatives to continue as members of the elected bodies even after conviction in criminal cases.

The apex court by its judgment, now being sought to be reviewed, also held "...parliament thus does not have the power under Articles 102(1)(e) and 191(1)(e) of the Constitution to make different laws for a person to be disqualified for being chosen as a member and for a person to be disqualified for continuing as a member of Parliament or the State Legislature."

"You have done a good job," Justice Patnaik said, pointing to the bill piloted by the government to undo the impact of the apex court judgment directing the forthwith unseating of elected representatives upon their conviction for criminal offences.

"We have not interpreted the Constitution but merely read down the provision of the Representation of People Act," Justice Mukhopadhaya said.

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