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BJD MP submits three bills for judicial reforms, de-criminalisation of politics

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Jay Panda has recently submitted three Bills in Parliament, that would serve as model legislation for the government to act upon. The leader took this step in line with his commitment to the cause of judicial reforms and de-criminalisation of politics.

The three bills that Panda has advocated include –  The Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2013, Fast Track Courts for Elected Representatives Bill, 2013 and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2013. The Representation of People (Amendment) Bill focuses on checking criminalisation of politics. It removes the exemption given to sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of State Legislatures (MLAs and MLCs) who have been convicted of criminal offences. It also disqualifies them from their membership of the Legislature.

The bill on fast track courts for Elected Representatives Bill aims to establish special fast track courts for the trial of cases involving criminal charges against elected representatives. All Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of State Legislatures (MLAs and MLCs) and Members of Panchayats and Municipalities established under the State Panchayati Raj Legislations have been covered under the provisions of the Bill.   Finally The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, will focus on improving accountability in the appointment of public prosecutors so as to enable them to function independent of the executive and other external influences.

Panda is of the opinion that ‘even though reforming the entire judicial and political system may require significant investment and political will in the long term, lasting changes can be effected if we attack the roots of the problem in the short term.’

‘The perverse trend of criminalisation of politics and the inability of the criminal justice system to conduct timely and effective prosecution of offenders is the root cause of several problems in our society. Therefore, the attack on the roots of the problem must begin with these three legislation,’ believes Panda.
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