Criminals belong in prison
The greatest merit of the rejection by the Supreme Court on Wednesday of the review petition filed by the Centre on an earlier decision of a bench of...
The greatest merit of the rejection by the Supreme Court on Wednesday of the review petition filed by the Centre on an earlier decision of a bench of the apex court disqualifying convicted criminals from continuing to be in Parliament or either House of a State legislature is that it has revived the hope of the masses that they will soon be free from rule by criminals. As such, the nation will surely rally behind the apex court in the effort to cleanse politics of anti-social elements. Criminals belong in prisons, not in Parliament, or State legislatures as the case may be.
That is the accepted principle in every democracy, especially in parliamentary democracy. It is an entirely different matter that in many other democracies elected representatives of the people, be they Ministers, MPs, or MLAs, quit out of a sense of shame the moment they discover that they have been guilty of some impropriety, but a majority of Indian politicians are so shameless as to contest elections from behind bars; if they win they become ministers with a straight face.
In a landmark judgment that could cleanse Parliament and Assemblies of criminals, the Supreme Court had on July 10 struck down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts."The only question is about the vires of Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) and we hold that it is ultra vires and that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction," a bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and S.J. Mukhopadhaya had said.