SC refuses to hear fresh plea seeking life ban on lawmakers after conviction in criminal cases

File photo of the Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 03, 2018, 10.04 PM (IST)

The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a fresh plea seeking imposition of a lifetime ban on lawmakers following their conviction in criminal cases.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the petition filed by NGO ‘Lok Prahari’ through its General Secretary S N Shukla, saying that it was already seized of a similar petition on the same issue.

“We are already examining the same thing in a petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

The apex court dismissed the petition as it was already scheduled to hear a similar PIL filed by lawyer and BJP leader Upadhyay tomorrow, who in his plea has sought to bar of convicted politicians for life.

“Why have you filed a separate petition when the court is seized of the same issue in another pending petition. We don’t think we need to hear it. Dismissed,” the bench said.

The bench while listing Upadhyay’s plea for hearing on December 4 had said that it could not lose sight of the fact that the PIL was seeking a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in the criminal case, besides setting up of special courts to expeditiously try criminal cases involving elected representatives.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that the main prayer in the PIL is to impose the lifetime ban on convicted elected representative,” the bench said, adding that the government servants and judicial officers cannot come back after their convictions.

At present, a legislator, when convicted is debarred for six years from contesting elections.

The apex court has been approached with several pleas seeking a lifetime ban on lawmakers as the provision stood for the judiciary and the executive, where one could not hold office post-conviction.

The Centre during the last hearing in the matter had submitted that it had no objection in setting up of special courts for exclusively trying the criminal cases involving elected representatives. However, it has not been in favour of banning the convicted lawmakers for life.

The apex court was earlier informed that 12 special courts set up to try lawmakers exclusively have not been constituted on a uniform pattern, and their number needs to be raised to 19 for trying cases at the sessions level.

It was also suggested to the top court that another 51 such courts are required for magisterial trial cases.

The amicus had further said that special courts were constituted to exclusively deal with all cases including complaint cases against MPs, MLAs including the former ones, irrespective of the fact as to whether the same was committed when the concerned lawmaker was holding the said office

Story highlights

The apex court dismissed the petition as it was already scheduled to hear a similar PIL filed by lawyer and BJP leader Upadhyay tomorrow, who in his plea has sought barring of convicted politicians for life.