SC Hauls Up Election Commission Over Stand On Convicted Lawmakers
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has reacted strongly when it stated that the Election Commission was retracting its earlier view, supporting a plea for lifetime ban on convicted law makers from contesting elections.
The two judge bench comprising Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha said, “It is within the domain of the Election Commission… If you don’t want to be independent (and) constrained by the legislature; say so.”
The apex court’s remarks came while hearing a petition filed by BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, who sought a ban on convicted lawmakers and setting up of special courts for trying lawmakers accused of criminal offences.
The counsel for Election Commission told the bench, “We are supporting the cause of the petitioner for decriminalisation of politics, and there should be framework for decriminalisation of politics.”
But the bench retorted that the commission wanted the court to read in between the lines, and there was no reason why they should do so. It observed that the commission cannot remain silent and should take a clear stand on the plea seeking a lifetime ban on convicted law makers from contesting elections.