SC seeks conviction rate of politicians

SC seeks conviction rate of politicians

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought to know criminal cases being faced by MPs and MLAs and the conviction rate of politicians in criminal cases. It also asked if its direction to complete trial against them within a year was being effectively implemented.

On being pointed out that an estimated 34% of politicians faced criminal cases, the top court said, "We have laid down such a high and rigorous standards for judges. If this is the position in case of judges, why can't the same be there in case of politicians?"

"We would also like to know what is the rate of conviction. That will throw open a new dimension. We will see that criminal cases against politicians, if it does not end in conviction, then why? What are the reasons for it," a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said while examining a PIL for debarring convicted politicians for life from contesting polls.

The bench also asked a lawyer, appearing for one of the intervenors, about the data of cases pending against lawmakers in trial courts and high courts across the country and also whether there was stay on any of them.

The petitioners including BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, sought direction to declare the provisions of the Representation of People (RP) Act, which barred convicted politician from contesting elections only for six years after serving a jail term, as ultra-vires to the Constitution.

The Centre, in its affidavit, had maintained that seeking life-time bar on convicted lawmakers was not maintainable and the plea should be dismissed.

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