PIL seeks disqualification of convicted lawmakers

A plea was made on Monday in the Supreme Court seeking disqualification of all MPs and MLAs who were convicted for serious offences contending “law breakers should be permitted to act as law makers”.

NGO Lok Prahri sought modification in the July 10 order of the apex court which said that the verdict -- declaring ultra vires a provision of the Representation of People Act giving protection to the law makers -- would come into effect prospectively.
The petitioner also sought direction to issue notification declaring vacancy on the seats held by Congress MP Rasheed Masood in Rajya Sabha and RJD chief Lalu Prasad in Lok Sabha.

A bench presided over by Justice A K Patnaik put the interlocutory applications for consideration on December 16.

The land mark judgment, which disqualified sitting MPs Prasad and Masood after their conviction, had said that the disqualification would not affect the sitting members of Parliament or state legislatures who were convicted before July 10.

“It is expedient in the interest of justice that the order dated July 10 be modified to the extent that the judgment is made effective even in case of those sitting members of Parliament and state legislatures who had incurred the disqualification,” the petition filed by S N Shukla, general secretary of Lok Prahari, said.

The petition listed the names of 24 MPs and MLAs, including Karnataka MLAs Y Sampangi (bribery, 2012) and Amreesh (forgery, 2013), who have been convicted but continued to be member of legislative bodies.

"Exemption to already convicted sitting members is not in accordance with Articles of the Constitution which provide that the disqualification shall be effective instantly," the petition said, adding, It is also not in consonance with the intention of the framers of the Constitution.”

The petition quoted former Attorney General, who said, “Law breakers should not be permitted at all to function as law makers. The court should have gone the whole hog.”

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