While hearing a petition filed regarding curbing the trend of increasing criminalization in the country’s politics, the top court had appointed an amicus curiae and sought suggestions.
The amicus curiae has suggested in this regard that politicians convicted in serious criminal cases should be banned from contesting elections for life.
It is noteworthy that at present this period is only six years after conviction. The argument given in favor of this argument is that when a government employee is dismissed in such a case, then why are politicians given relaxation?
Amicus curiae called it an encroachment on the right to equality guaranteed by the Constitution. It is noteworthy that the petition filed in this regard by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, in which there was a demand for speedy trial of politicians in criminal cases, Playing the role of Amicus curiae.
He argue that allowing convicted MPs to be active again in electoral politics six years after their release is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which grants the right to equality before law.
Undoubtedly, law and order in any civilized society demands that a person convicted of serious crimes like rape, murder, drug trafficking, corruption and involvement in terrorist activities should be permanently barred from contesting elections. Even if he/she is released.
The moral aspect of this complex problem also says the same. Its encroachment will never send a good message to the society.
In fact, the report presented in the apex court has also highlighted Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, which states that the disqualification of a convicted politician can be extended only for six years after hiňs release.
This is undoubtedly a legal loophole. Which is truly a major obsytacle in the path of decriminalizing politics.
To solve this serious and complex problem, this obstacle needs to be removed on priority basis.
On the other hand, it is also necessary to expedite the matters related to such MPs and MLAs. So that whatever political party they are associated with, their party can take decisions regarding the candidature or continuation of the accused politician on the basis of the court’s decision. Of course, this can help voters choose the options available during elections.
The amicus curiae report has suggested that the special courts set up for such cases be directed to submit monthly reports of the pending cases and disposals to the respective High Courts.
Also in long pending cases the reason for delay should also be specified.
Undoubtedly, if all these measures are implemented seriously, they can be of significant help in making the politics of the country clean.
Which is also an essential condition of a healthy democracy.