Woman's Era - - Editorial -

The Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment un­der Modi has plans afoot to shield tainted MPS and MLAS. In an af­fi­davit filed in the Supreme Court, the gov­ern­ment has as­serted that no MP or MLA should be dis­qual­i­fied from the mem­ber­ship of House if he or she has been con­victed by a court in a crim­i­nal case. It also favours that a con­victed politi­cian be given a chnace to ap­peal against con­vic­tion.

On 10 July 2013, the Supreme Court, in its judg­ment of the Lily Thomas v. Union of In­dia case, ruled that any mem­ber of Parliament, as­sem­bly or a leg­isla­tive coun­cil, who is con­victed of a crime and awarded a min­i­mum of two year’s im­pris­on­ment, shall lose mem­ber­ship of the House with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

In an at­tempt to over­turn this de­ci­sion, the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Peo­ple’s ( Sec­ond Amend­ment and Val­i­da­tion) Bill, 2013, was in­tro­duced in the Ra­jya Sabha by the then law min­is­ter Kapil Sibal. On 24 Septem­ber, a few days be­fore the fod­der scam ver­dict, the gov­ern­ment tried to bring an or­di­nance. How­ever, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-pres­i­dent tore the copy of the pro­posed bill declar­ing it ‘com­plete non­sense’ at Press Club of In­dia in Delhi.

The same BJP had then de­rided the gov­ern­ment of be­ing to­tally con­fused and de­manded res­ig­na­tion of PM Man­mo­han Singh. Since then, of the nine politi­cians who lost their mem­ber­ship only one be­longed to Congress while BJP lost two MLAS – one each in Ma­ha­rash­tra and Mad­hya Pradesh.

BJP, which en­joys power at the Cen­tre and is rul­ing in 18 states seems ap­pre­hen­sive that sooner or later many of its sit­ting MPS and MLAS may face crim­i­nal charges in var­i­ous courts. So, it seems ea­ger to pro­vide them le­gal pro­tec­tion to save their mem­ber­ship. The Union law min­istry has re­minded the apex court that dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of a sit­ting mem­ber is a pol­icy mat­ter and court has no right to in­ter­fere in it.

Or maybe, BJP pre­sumes that all the tainted politi­cians be­long to other par­ties and it has only milk­bathed lead­ers. That is per­haps why the for­mer Kar­nataka chief min­is­ter BS Yed­dyu­rappa was re­cently given clean chit on all charges filed against him.

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