Cabinet nod to amendments negating SC order on convicted MPs, MLAs

New Delhi: Moving to negate Supreme Court ruling on immediate disqualification of convicted lawmakers, the Cabinet today gave its nod to a proposal under which such MPs and MLAs will retain their membership till pendency of appeal but will be barred from voting and drawing salary.

The proposal, in the form of Amendments to the Representation of People Act, will ensure that a lawmaker cannot be disqualified after conviction if his or her appeal is pending before a court and sentence is stayed.

Supreme Court. Reuters

Supreme Court is seen in this file photo/ . Reuters

The Law Ministry's proposal to amend the Representation of People Act makes it clear that an MP or MLA cannot be disqualified after conviction if his or her appeal is pending before a court and sentence is stayed.

A proviso added to sub-section (4) of section 8 of the RP Act makes it clear that the convicted member shall continue to take part in proceedings of Parliament or Legislature of a state but he or she shall neither be entitled to vote nor draw salary and allowances till the appeal or revision is finally decided by the court.

The Law Ministry has proposed that the amendment to the RPA shall come into effect from 10 July, 2013 the day the Supreme Court gave the landmark judgement.

The move comes against the backdrop of the SC verdict on immediate disqualification of MPs and MLAs after being convicted. The apex court judgement had brought together all parties which wanted it to be negated.

In its 10 July verdict, the Supreme Court had 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 made it clear that MPs, MLAs and MLCs would stand disqualified on the date of conviction.

The draft bill says, "Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), a disqualification under any of the said sub-sections shall not, in the case of a person who on the date of the conviction is a member of Parliament or the legislature of a state, take effect, if an appeal or application for revision is filed in respect of the conviction and sentence within a period of 90 days from the date of conviction and such conviction or
sentence is stayed by the court.

"Provided that till the appeal or revision is finally decided by the court, the member shall neither be entitled to vote nor draw salary and allowances, but shall continue to take part in the proceedings of Parliament or the legislature of a state, as the case may be."

It also says, "Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgement, decree or order of any court, tribunal or other authority, the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, as amended by this Act, shall have and shall be deemed always to have effect for all purposes as if the provisions of this Act had been in force at all material times."

PTI

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