Ordinance to negate SC order disqualifiying MPs, MLAs approved

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) The cabinet Tuesday approved an ordinance to negate a Supreme Court (SC) order disqualifying MPs and MLAs if convicted in a criminal case, sources said.

According to the sources, the government opted for the ordinance route after a bill for the same could not be passed in the monsoon session of parliament.

The ordinance would save the elected leaders from disqualification but would take away their perks.

Aiming to change the law, the government had brought the Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session, which could not be passed.

The ordinance, once approved by President Pranab Mukherjee, will have to be passed by parliament during the winter session likely November-December.

The government approved the ordinance in a hurry as the SC order was hanging like a Damocles' sword over Congress MP Rashid Masood after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court convicted him in a corruption case. The CBI court is likely to pronounce the sentence next month, said sources.

In its July 10 order, the apex court said an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.

The order had united all the parties who saw it as dilution of parliament's supremacy and asked the government to do something about it.

The parties had also urged the government to nullify another apex court order which debarred politicians from contesting polls if under police custody.

Parliament passed a bill in the monsoon session to change the law to negate this order.

President Mukherjee approved the bill Tuesday making it a law.