Parliament passes bill to negate SC order on jailed lawmakers

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 07, 2013 01:16 hrs

New Delhi: With the Lok Sabha's nod, parliament Friday passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which will negate a Supreme Court order banning politicians in jail and under police custody from contesting polls.

The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on August 28.

At the start of the session, all parties were united in demanding that the government bring a bill to negate the apex court order.

The parties had apprehensions that false cases could be lodged by their rivals on the eve of any polls to get a candidate disqualified from contesting in keeping with the apex court order.

The bill negates the July 10 apex court order which held that since those in jail cannot vote as per the electoral act, they cannot qualify for contesting elections to parliament or state assemblies.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal moved the bill.

"Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes the courts can make a mistake. In this case, they made a mistake and today we are correcting it," he told the house.

Sibal earlier said there was a general "negative perception" in the country that all politicians are criminals.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Kirti Azad and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member Dara Singh Chauhan said at times politicians are jailed for taking part in agitations on social issues and this should not be equated with arrest in criminal cases.

The government also filed a review petition in the court but later brought the amendment bill in parliament.

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