In a landmark judgement that may lead to decriminalisation of politics, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (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 apex court also made it clear that MPs, MLAs and MLCs would stand disqualified on the date of conviction.
The court said Parliament has exceeded its powers by enacting the provision (Section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples Act) that gives a convicted lawmaker the power to remain in office on the ground that appeals have been filed and pending. The bench of justices A K Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhaya, in its 41-page verdict, however, clarified that convicted lawmakers, whose appeals are pending prior to pronouncement of today's verdict, are "saved" and as it would come into effectprospectively.
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Meenakshi Lekhi, Spokesperson, BJP; Sanjay Jha, Spokesperson, Congress; L Rajagopal, MP, Lok Sabha, Congress; Gaurav Bhatia, Natl. President SP, Legal wing; Pinaki Mishra, BJD Leader & Senior Advocate; Rahul Mehra, Co founder, AAP; Aryama Sundaram, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court and T R Raghunandan, Advisor, Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research -- discuss whether, today's landmark judgement by the SC should political parties simply stop giving tickets to those with criminal charges against them?