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A person in jail cannot fight polls for legislative bodies, rules SC
In another path breaking verdict, the apex court ruled that only an ‘elector’ can contest the polls and he/she ceases the right to cast vote due to confinement in prison or being in custody of police
 
A person, who is in jail or in police custody, cannot contest election to legislative bodies, the Supreme Court has held, bringing to an end an era of undertrial politicians fighting polls from behind bars. 
 
In another path breaking verdict to prevent criminal elements from entering Parliament and state assemblies, the apex court ruled that only an ‘elector’ can contest the polls and he/she ceases the right to cast vote due to confinement in prison or being in custody of police. 
 
The court, however, made it clear that disqualification would not be applicable to person subjected to preventive detention under any law. 
 
Referring to the Representation of Peoples’ Act, a bench of justices AK Patnaik and SJ Mukhopadhayay said that the Act (Section 4 & 5) lays down the qualifications for membership of the House of the People and Legislative Assembly and one of the qualifications laid down is that he must be an elector. 
 
The bench said Section 62(5) of the Act says that no person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police. 
 
Reading Sections 4, 5 and 62(5) together, the apex court came to the conclusion that a person in jail or police custody cannot contest election. 
 
The court passed the order on an appeal filed by the Chief Election Commissioner and others challenging a Patna High Court order barring people in police custody to contest polls. 
 
“We do not find any infirmity in the findings of the high court in the impugned common order that a person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (5) of Section 62 of the 1951 Act is not an elector and is therefore not qualified to contest the election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a state,” the apex court said. 
 
The bench had also made it clear that MPs, MLAs and MLCs would stand disqualified on the date of conviction. 
 
Legal experts said the two verdicts will force political parties to make sure that candidates facing criminal charges are not fielded. 
 
The court had in its Thursday’s judgement held that Parliament exceeded its powers by enacting the provision (Section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples Act) that gives a convicted lawmaker the power to remain in office on the ground that appeals have been filed and pending. 
 
The sub-section 8(4), which was struck down, said a lawmaker cannot be disqualified for three months from the conviction and if in that period he or she files an appeal against till its disposal by a higher court.
 

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MPs, MLAs will be disqualified on date of conviction, says SC

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

The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down as ultra vires a provision of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) which protects convicted lawmakers against disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal against their conviction in the higher courts.

 

“The only question is about the vires of section 8(4) of the RPA and we hold that it is ultra vires and that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction,” a bench of justices AK Patnaik and SJ Mukhopadhaya said.

 

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

 

The provision of RPA says that a lawmaker cannot be disqualified in the event of his conviction in a criminal case if he or she files an appeal in the higher court.

 

The apex court’s verdict came on the petitions filed by Lily Thomas and NGO Lok Prahari through its secretary SN Shukla who had sought striking down of various provisions of RPA on the ground that they violate certain constitutional provisions which, among other things, expressly put a bar on criminals getting registered as voters or becoming MPs or MLAs.

 

The PILs had said that certain sections of RPA allow convicted lawmakers to continue in office while their appeals are pending and thus those provisions are “discriminatory and encourage criminalisation of politics”.

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COMMENTS

MOHAN

4 years ago

Mr. P.C. George, the Kerala Government Chief Whip says this judgement is 'JUDICIAL TERRORISM'!!

shanti Patel

4 years ago

Very good judgement to eliminate criminals from getting elected even after committing crime.

The same thing should be introduced and implemented by Professional Bodies like Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to keep up the Public Image.

Shanti Patel
Chartered Accountant

Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

In present day scenario the judgement is best and not one of the best.

Aam Admi Party look at trade unionism to increase its support base?

So far, Kejriwal's party has targeted Reliance and some banks, but never by taking up the cause of their workers. Incidentally, we learn that in the not so recent past, Kejriwal was seeking support from Bajaj Auto for AAP's activities

 

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder Arvind Kejriwal, the social activist-turned politician, seems set to look at trade unions as the next bastion to increase his clout and support base. In a press release issued on Sunday night, AAP said that it has extended its support to agitating contract workers of Bajaj Auto.

This is the first indicator that the AAP is getting into unionism, which is a popular route to gathering support for all leading political parties in India. The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, all have strong unions, which play an important role in expanding their support base.

In this case, Kejriwal has chosen to take up the case of contract workers at a time when production is down and there are probably fears of retrenchment. Since most political parties only focus on permanent employees, taking up the cause of contract workers is probably an open space for a fledgling party like the AAP to make its entry. But it is safe to be that the move will be watched closely by the political establishment.

So far, Kejriwal's party has targeted Reliance and some banks for alleged scams and corporate malpractices, but it has never yet taking up the cause of their workers.

On 25th June, around 1,500 employees, including 600-odd contract, temporary and 'earn and learn' workers, stopped work at Bajaj Auto's plant at Chakan near Pune. The workers are demanding wage revision, better work conditions and stock options.

This was followed by a threat of mass stoppage of work in the Chakan and Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial area by Pune-based Shramik Ekta Mahasangh. The Mahasangh that claims representation of the 88 trade unions in the region and affiliation to Industrial All (Global) Union of Geneva, has asked the Upper Labour Commissioner of Pune to intervene in the matter and resolve the crisis.

Even as the matter was pending before the industrial court of Pune, the AAP jumped in to picture. 'Extending' support to agitating workers at Bajaj's Chakan plant, the AAP asked the government to intervene to 'defend the legal rights of workers'.

In a press release, the Kejriwal-led party said, "It is disappointing that the reasonable demands of the workers are not being responded to in this unit, especially since the company has done very well, but the employees share in value addition has gone down drastically to 12% from 31%."

According the AAP release, a unit of Bajaj Pulsar (manufactured at Chakan) sells in the market for about Rs70,000 and shareholders and management staff gets around Rs16,700 from this sale. The government and dealers get about Rs10,000 each while about 1,450 workers (at the Chakan facility) get around Rs300.

AAP also urged Bajaj Auto to respond to demands of equal wages for same work, review of wage agreement between the company and Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana (the authorised union in Bajaj) as per the clauses in previous agreement as well as remove suspension orders and police cased filed against workers.

Interestingly, Moneylife learns that Arvind Kejriwal had met Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj a couple of months ago. We learn that the meeting was to seek support for an independent television channel that AAP wants to set up. Earlier in February, both Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan confirmed that the party was starting a channel with focus on social issues. This move was apparently a fallout of an alleged notice sent by Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to TV channels about broadcasting LIVE press conferences of Kejriwal and Bhushan.

Coming back to Kejriwal extending support to workers, this has happened earlier as well. Last year in October, the AAP extended its support to about 30,000 contract workers of five power companies in Delhi under DESU Mazdoor Sangh. At that time, Kejriwal had called upon all contract workers across the country to unite for fighting against the system, which allows contractors and companies to collude and deny rights to workers.

It must be noted that Kejriwal took support of DESU Mazdoor Sangh for his 'union' dream, which is an affiliate of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh that is linked with the BJP. But at that time it did not seem to have bothered Kejriwal. The Sangh was asking to re-instate 187 contract workers fired by BSES Rajdhani Pvt Ltd and BSES Jamuna Power Ltd. Both the companies are linked with Ambani family, as both are units of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power Ltd.

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COMMENTS

CHANDU CHARTIST

4 years ago

DEAR ARVIND KEJARIWAL
GO AHEDE TARGET INDIAN YOUTH FIGHT AGAIEST CONGRESS AND BJP FOR CORRUPTION FREE NATION

CHANDU CHARTIST

4 years ago

DEAR ARVIND KEJARIWAL
GO AHEDE TARGET INDIAN YOUTH FIGHT AGAIEST CONGRESS AND BJP FOR CORRUPTION FREE NATION

CHANDU CHARTIST

4 years ago

DEAR ARVIND KEJARIWAL
GO AHEDE TARGET INDIAN YOUTH FIGHT AGAIEST CONGRESS AND BJP FOR CORRUPTION FREE NATION

DORAI

4 years ago

Moneylife media reports are biased. All corrupt political parties would go home this time. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will win. Aam Aadmi Party Jindabad

DORAI

4 years ago

This time corrupt political parties will go homw. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)Jindabad.
DORAI.

Partha

4 years ago

The press note sent by AAP was wrong factually. The permanent workers are on strike, while the management tries to get work done through contract workers. Also, this is not the first time Arvind Kejriwal, has conveniently adopted double speak. He knows which side of the bread is buttered when

Anil Agashe

4 years ago

Arvind Kejariwal is a bundle of contradictions. He believes creating anarchy will help him politically. People as frustrated as him have joined his party which has no real agenda. They will play spoilers for BJP in Delhi. I have no idea if they have any support at any place, to make a difference.
NRN gave them money thinking he was paying for good governance movement! He himself has gone back on everything he held dear or pretended to. He is fit to join AAP.
Rahul Bajaj is no fool.He won't get emotionally blackmailed. Bajaj probably is one of the better pay masters. Contract workers and laws governing labor is a big obstacle in manufacturing in India.

REPLY

CHANDU CHARTIST

In Reply to Anil Agashe 4 years ago

BJP KA CHAMCHA LAGTA HAI

CHANDU CHARTIST

In Reply to Anil Agashe 4 years ago

BJP KA CHAMCHA LAGTA HAI

CHANDU CHARTIST

In Reply to Anil Agashe 4 years ago

BJP KA CHAMCHA LAGTA HAI

Dayananda Kamath k

4 years ago

labor laws are promulgated to safe guard the interest of labor class from exploitation from powerful managements with money and political clout. and this is hard earned by workers through great sacrifices by unions. then how govt can allow contract labor which is mainly used to avoid labor law provisions. why managements should pay to middlemen at the cost of employees.instead of food security bill govt should apply labor law provisions uniformly to all the employees working in an industry. otherwise it defeats the purpose of enacting labor laws.

ABHA CHAWLA MOHANTY

4 years ago

GREAT !!!,,PARTY IS COMING_ OF" _AGE".....ALL THE LUCK!!

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