Cabinet agree to nullify apex court’s verdict on lawmakers
The Union Cabinet agreed to two proposals which will allow those in jail to contest elections and also allow convicted MPs and MLAs to retain their membership during the pendency of their appeals even as they will be barred from voting or drawing a salary. The two proposals were approved in the form of amendments to the Representation of the People Act.
Why this move by the Union Cabinet ?
The move is targeted to negate the two Supreme Court’s verdicts which barred convicted persons and those in jail from contesting elections.
The two proposed amendments to Representation of the People Act:
- An MP, MLA or MLC cannot be disqualified after conviction if he or she files an appeal within 90 days from the date of conviction and such a conviction is stayed by the court. As per the draft bill, a provision added to sub-section (4) of section 8 of the RP Act makes it clear that the convicted member shall continue to take part in proceedings of Parliament or State legislature but he or she shall neither be entitled to vote nor draw a salary and allowances till the appeal or revision is finally decided by the court.
- It adds a provision to sub-section (2) of section 62 of the RP Act to state that a person cannot cease to be a voter while in detention as his or her right is only temporarily suspended. It further states that as the name of the jailed person continues to be on the electoral rolls he or she also continues to be an elector and can file his nomination for an election.