Netas to be disqualified before conviction? Big judgment in Supreme Court today

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New Delhi | Updated: September 25, 2018 9:55:38 AM

The Supreme Court will today pronounce its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers even before their conviction in criminal cases.

Supreme court, Supreme court judgment, disqualified MP, disqualifies MLACan netas charged with serious crimes contest elections? Big judgment in Supreme Court today

The Supreme Court will today pronounce its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers even before their conviction in criminal cases. The five-judge bench headed by CJI Justice Deepak Misra will pronounce the judgment almost a month after it had reserved its order on the petitions after hearing arguments of all parties including the Election Commission and the central government. The other judges on the bench comprise Justice RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

The petition, jointly filed by NGO Public Interest Foundation and BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay among others, also seeks to bar lawyers from contesting MP or MLA elections and take up dual responsibility.

The petitioner had sought a direction be passed barring a person from entering the electoral politics after framing of charges against him in criminal cases. They also said that lawyers can’t be allowed to perform a dual role and thus they be barred from entering electoral politics.

The arguments in the case concluded on August 28.

Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal had lauded the efforts of the judiciary in cleansing the politics but opposed disqualifying a person from contesting elections before the person is proven guilty. He submitted that the top court can’t interfere into the lawmaking territory, adding that the court can’t put a condition on a person’s right to vote which also includes his right to contest.

“The intention of the lordships is laudable. But the question is whether the court can do it. The answer is ‘no’,” he had said.

Earlier in 2013, the Supreme Court had ruled that an MP, MLA will be disqualified immediately from the House after conviction in any criminal case and can’t contest elections for six years.

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