Till the matter is settled, MP or MLA will not be entitled to vote nor draw a salary and allowances, but may continue to participate in the proceedings of Parliament or Legislature
In a landmark judgment On July 10th 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts. Everyone was happy that this could cleanse Parliament and Assemblies of criminals. Some good politicians welcomed this rule wholeheartedly, and of course a lot didn’t and everyone knows why?
But the Union Cabinet on Tuesday 24th Sept 2013, negating a Supreme Court ruling, cleared an ordinance that will protect convicted MPs and MLAs from immediate disqualification, provided their appeal against the conviction and sentence is admitted by a higher court within 90 days, and both the conviction and the sentence are stayed. Till the matter is settled, the MP or the MLA, the ordinance says, will not be entitled to vote nor draw a salary and allowances, but may continue to participate in the proceedings of Parliament or State Legislatures, as the case may be.
The central argument propounded in favor of this bill was that in politics, false cases are often filed against rivals, and, therefore, mere arrest cannot be sufficient cause for making a legislator resign, or prevent him — or her — from contesting the elections.
Indeed, it was one of the two bills that were drafted in the wake of the Supreme Court judgment of July 10 that pronounced that sitting legislators either jailed on charges, or after conviction, would have to resign their seats forthwith.
The bill relating to those jailed on charges was cleared by Parliament; the one relating to those convicted has now been converted into an ordinance.
However, while the ordinance will help convicted MLAs and MPs retain their seats, it cannot help them to contest elections again: for that they would have to go to court once more to seek a stay again on the sentence and conviction. The law on that is clear: anyone convicted cannot contest an election, unless that person goes to a higher court and gets his sentence and conviction stayed.
The question arises is that “even if any false cases are filed” out of rivalry or conspiracy, do our lawmakers have “No Faith in our Police and judicial system” that they will get justice.
If our country’s Lawmakers themselves have no faith in our Judicial System and the Law, how can a common man would expect to get justice?