Life ban for convicted MPs, MLAs: Election Commission to Supreme Court

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Nov 01, 2017, 08.57 AM(IST)

In July, India's top court had rapped the ECI for not taking a clear stand on a plea seeking barring convicted politicians for life. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The Centre, in its affidavit, had said the prayer sought by the petitioner seeking lifetime bar on convicted lawmakers was not maintainable and the plea should be dismissed.

 The Election Commission of India(ECI) had told the Supreme Court that convicted MPs and MLAs should be banned from contesting elections.

The Election Commission said that it had written to the government to amend the law in this regard.

However, the government differed from Election Commission, insisting before the top court that a 6 year-disqualification served the purpose.

In July, India's top court had rapped the ECI for not taking a clear stand on a plea seeking barring convicted politicians for life, declaring that the election body could not remain silent on the matter.

“Is silence an option for you (ECI)? You must say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether you are supporting the petitioner. You are the ECI and here is a citizen of India who has come here to seek lifetime debarment of convicted persons. Can you say I will be silent? No, you cannot,” the bench had said.

“If you (ECI) feel constrained by the legislature, then let us know. If you are even constrained to the extent of giving your view, feel free and say so clearly,” it said.

The Centre, in its affidavit, had said the prayer sought by the petitioner seeking lifetime bar on convicted lawmakers was not maintainable and the plea should be dismissed. 

However, the ECI affidavit said it was in favour of setting up special courts to decide the criminal cases related to people’s representatives, public servants and members of the judiciary, in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution.

The affidavit was filed in response to a PIL which is also seeking setting up special courts for trial of criminal cases against people from the legislature, executive and judiciary. 

The poll panel had said the issues raised by the petitioner were “not adversarial”.

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