Should MPs and MLAs who have been convicted of serious charges like rape and sexual assault step down and ensure a fair trial before they can return to office after being absolved charges against them?
"The MP or MLA should step down the moment a charge sheet is issued against them. In fact political parties should suspend them even before the charge sheet is issued," Supreme Court lawyer Dushyant Dave said.
According to Dave, there is a provision in the law stipulates that civil servants and even lawyers have to step down the moment serious charges are leveled against them.
"This makes a case for moral certitude and in this case conviction is not necessary," he said.
Even the Speaker of the Lok Sabha has the necessary powers for fair conduct and he can suspend an MP or MLA the moment charge sheet is filed.
However, Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Gaurav Bhatia said this provision could be misused by several people to even scores with political leaders. Interestingly, three SP MLAs face serious charges like rape according to a report by ADR and National Election Watch.
Bhatia, however, chose to blame the judiciary for the backlog of cases and said that there should be fast track courts set up for all political representatives so that these cases are solved in time.
He said, "Every person is entitled to a fair trial. The trials of any public servant should be expedited.
Would it be fair to suspend the person without a fair trial? Instead let the trial be finished in three to six months."
First Published On : Jan 8, 2013 12:35 IST