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SC seeks law panel’s view on disqualification of lawmakers

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Law Commission to examine whether lawmakers can be disqualified either upon framing of charges by a court in heinous crimes or with the filing of charge sheet and also evolve a mechanism for verifying veracity of affidavits.

It said that since the Law Commission is carrying out the research and preparing a comprehensive report on electoral reforms, it can give its report on these aspects which can be submitted to the central government by February 2014 so that it is deliberated upon on 10 March.

The two pointed questions were referred to by a bench of justices R M Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh to the Law Commission.

The first question was whether a person can be disqualified on conviction or upon framing of charges by court in heinous crimes or with the filing of charge sheet? Secondly, can there be a disqualification on filing false affidavit and if yes, what can be the mechanism for verifying the affidavits?

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation by NGO Public Interest Foundation (PIF) seeking eradication of the criminality from politics and barring them from contesting elections.

The Election Commission of India has already given a proposal to the Supreme Court barring those from contesting the elections against whom a court has framed charges for offences punishable with a jail term of five years or more. The Commission’s proposal is for disqualification even prior to conviction, provided the court has framed charges.

Top court turns down petition

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a plea seeking that its order on disqualification of convicted MPs and MLAs be made effective even in the case of lawmakers who were held guilty of serious offences before the judgment.

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