SC sets up bench for candidates facing trial

SC sets up bench for candidates facing trial

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to set up a constitution bench to examine a plea whether people facing trial in serious offences could be barred from contesting polls.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice J S Khehar said, “This is an important matter. It must be decided in one way or another so that people know the law by the next election.” Senior counsel Vikas Singh mentioned a PIL filed by Delhi-based advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for an urgent listing.

Singh said that the issue is required to be decided at the earliest as many dreaded criminals, against whom charges have been framed by courts in serious cases, are planning to contest the upcoming Assembly polls. On March 8, a three-judge bench referred various petitions, including one by NGO PIL Foundation, to the Chief Justice of India.

The bench felt questions like whether a lawmaker, facing criminal trial, can be disqualified at the conviction stage or when charges are framed in a case, has to be decided by a larger bench.

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