SC urged to review verdict on convicted lawmakers

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court was moved Saturday for a review of its verdict that MPs or legislators would cease to be elected representatives if convicted in criminal case for certain offences.

The review petition filed by Haryana Swatantra Party president Ramesh Dalal also sought a relook at the decision which barred elected presentatives in jail from contesting polls.

Seeking a relook at the matter by a larger bench, Dalal said there was no doubt that preventing criminalisation of politics was the basic feature of the constitution but it could not be extended to the level where democratically constituted parliament may be weakened.

Dalal said the issue be sent to a constitution bench for "proper consideration and logical end in the interest of public".

On the apex court ruling that people in jail could not contest elections as they cease to be voters when in incarceration, the petition said the court erroneously held that a person who has no right to vote...is not qualified to contest the election to the house of people or the legislative assembly.

The petitioner said the court order could be used as a "weapon" by the incumbent governments and members of the ruling party to misuse their power to "implicate" politicians of rival parties.

The apex court July 10 verdict declared unconstitutional the provision of the Representation of the People Act (subsection 4 of Section 8) that allows elected representatives to continue as members of the elected bodies even after conviction in certain criminal cases or offences carrying a minimum punishment of two years, if they have obtained a stay against conviction and sentencing with three months of being convicted.

By another judgment, the apex court said a person under lawful custody of police loses his right to be a voter and even if his name remains on the electoral rolls he can't contest election.

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