SC notice on plea for speedy trials of law makers, public servants

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the central government’s response on a PIL seeking setting-up of special courts to hold the trial of elected representative in legislatures, public servants and the members of judiciary within one year.

The bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice on the plea by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who has also sought that the convicted law makers, public servants and members of judiciary should be debarred from legislature, executive and judiciary for life uniformly in spirit of Article 14 read with Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution.

The petitioner has also sought direction to the government to implement the “Important Electoral Reforms” proposed by Election Commission, Law Commission and National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution to ensure free and fair election in spirit of the Article 324.

Upadhyay has said that “apart from terrorism and naxalism (Maoism), the most serious problem, our country facing is extensive corruption and criminalization of the politics”.

He said in his PIL that the purity and sanctity of electoral process, a sine qua non for a sound system of governance appears to have become a forgotten thing in view of the entry of a large number of criminals in parliament and state assemblies.

In the executive and judiciary, the PIL says, “when a person is convicted for any criminal offence, he/she is suspended automatically and debarred from his services for life. However, this rule is applied differently in case of convicted person is a legislature”.

Even after conviction and undergoing sentence, Upadhyay says that a “convicted person can form his own political party and eligible to become the office bearer of any political party”.

In addition, the PIL says that a convicted person is eligible to contest the election and eligible to become a legislator and even minister after expiry of six years period from the date of conviction.

He has contended that provision of Representation of People Act, 1951, dealing with disqualifications for membership of Parliament and state legislatures are discriminatory and inconsistent with Article 14 read with Article 15 and 16, and thus void.

–IANS

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