Millennium Post

Apex court ruling on convicted MPs may lead to creation of fresh rules

The recent Supreme Court ruling on convicted lawmakers may lead to creation of fresh guidelines to help deal with the new scenario where MPs and MLAs stand disqualified immediately upon conviction.

While the Attorney General has made it clear that following the apex court ruling, convicted MPs and MLAs stand disqualified immediately upon their conviction, the procedure to be followed to announce the disqualification and the subsequent vacancy of seats still remains a ticklish issue for the government, the RS and LS secretariats and the Election Commission.

In its 10 July judgement, the apex court had 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 LS secretariat had sought the opinion of the AG following the conviction of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam.

While the AG explained that the disqualification would be immediate, his opinion is learnt to be silent on the procedure to be followed. He is understood to have said that issuance of notification regarding disqualification was a mere technicality.

Highly placed sources in the law ministry said those dealing with disqualification of MPs want clarity on who will take a final call on disqualification and the rules to be followed.

They, however, said the emerging view is that in case of a conviction of an MP or an MLA, the trial court or the State Election Commission can send the certified copy of the judgement to the presiding officer of the concerned House or state legislature.
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