Bills to decriminalise politics sent to parliament

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 14:10 hrs

Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (IANS) A Biju Janata Dal MP Tuesday submitted three private member's bills in parliament seeking decriminalisation of politics.

Baijayant 'Jay' Panda, a Lok Sabha member from Odisha's Kendrapada constituency, submitted the bills.

"It removes the exemption given to sitting members of parliament and members of state legislatures who have been convicted of criminal offences," Panda's office said in a statement.

"Even though setting the system right will require significant investment and political will in the long term, lasting changes can be effected if the roots of the problem are attacked in the short term," the statement said.

"This trend is highly demoralising for the public and it reduces their trust in the system. To convince the public of the pursuit of justice, judicial reforms must begin with the de-criminalisation of politics," Panda was cited as saying.

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