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SC Pulls Up Election Commission For Staying Mum On Barring Politicians For Life

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| July 12 , 2017 , 15:19 IST

The Supreme Court pulled up the Election Commission on Wednesday for continuing not to take a clear stand on whether lawmakers having been convicted of serious offenses should be barred for life from contesting elections.

The bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi questioned how the Election Commission can continue to refuse to take a stand on the crucial issue which would have a significant impact on decriminalising the election process.

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Despite the bench repeatedly asking the lawyer representing EC to state its stand on the issue, the lawyer maintained that the EC had not taken any stand.

In its affidavit, the EC had supported a PIL calling for the establishment of specialised courts that would decide the fate of public servants, people's representatives and members of judiciary involved in criminal cases and how long the concerned person should be debarred from contesting elections.

On March 3, the government and the Election Commission had been granted their last opportunity to declare their stand on whether convicts should be debarred from contesting elections for life.

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The petition filed on barring politicians from contesting elections stated: "Apart from terrorism and Naxalism, the most serious problem our country is facing is extensive corruption and criminalisation of politics. In executive and judiciary, when a person is convicted for any criminal offence, he/she is suspended automatically and debarred from his services for life. This rule, however, is applied differently in case of convicted persons in the legislature."

Meanwhile, the Election Commission filed the following affidavit, "It is pertinent to mention that the answering respondent (EC) has held several meetings with the Secretary of Ministry of Law, legislative department of the government. It is pertinent to mention that most of the recommendations /proposals of the answering respondent have been endorsed by the Law Commission in their 244th and 255th reports. However, most of the proposals/recommendations made by the answering respondent are either pending consideration by the UoI or have not been approved for the time being."