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NGO seeks disqualification of all convicted MPs, MLAs

The NGO Lok Prahri sought modification in the 10 July order of apex court which had said that disqualification shall not affect the sitting members of Parliament or state legislatures who were convicted before the pronouncement of the order.

‘It is expedient in the interest of justice that the order dated 10 July be modified to the extent that the judgement is made effective even in case of those sitting members of Parliament and state legislatures who had incurred the disqualification,’ the petition said while annexing the names of 27 MPs and MLAs who have been convicted but continue to be member of legislative bodies.

‘Exemption to already convicted sitting members is not in accordance with Articles of the Constitution which provide that the disqualification shall be effective instantly,’ the petition said, adding, ‘It is also not in consonance with the intention of the framers of the Constitution.’

In view of disqualification of Congress MP Rasheed Masood from Rajya Sabha and Lalu Prasad from Lok Sabha, the petitioner also sought that the vacancies be notified by the respective houses.

The Supreme Court had on 10 July 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.

‘The only question is about the vires of section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) and we hold that it is ultra vires and that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction,’ the apex court had said.

The court, however, said that its decision will not apply to convicted MPs and MLAs who have filed their appeals in the higher courts before the pronouncement of this verdict.

Under section 8(3) of the RPA, a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified for that and a further six years after release.
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