Asia & Australia

November 01, 2017

Submit data on conviction and trial of politicians: SC

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India asked for a detailed data on conviction and trial of politicians. The court was hearing a petition, filed by Advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhayay, demanding to bar convicted politicians from contesting elections for life.

The petitioner also sought a direction to the Centre and Election Commission to fix minimum educational qualification and a maximum age limit for persons contesting polls.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navinj Sinha said, “The data may perhaps open up a new dimension. We would also like to know what the rate of conviction is. We will see that criminal cases against politicians, if it does not end in conviction, then why? What are the reasons for it?”

The Representation of People (RP) Act, bars convicted politician from contesting elections for six years after serving jail term.

During the hearing, the bench asked the lawyer appearing for one of the interveners about the data of cases pending against lawmakers in trial courts and High Courts across the country and also whether there was stay on any of them. The lawyer replied that he would file an affidavit giving details of the data available on the national judicial data grid as well as with the Election Commission.

The apex court had on July 12 pulled up the Election Commisison for not taking a clear stand on a plea seeking barring of convicted politicians for life.

The Centre in its reply, said the prayer sought by the petitioner seeking life-time bar on convicted lawmakers was not maintainable and the plea should be dismissed.

Earlier, on March 18, the Election Commission filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court supporting setting up special courts to decide criminal cases related to People Representatives Public Servants and Members of Judiciary within one year and to debar the convicted persons from Legislature, Executive and Judiciary for life.

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