SC refuses to entertain plea seeking to declare as void election of those facing criminal charges

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SC refuses to entertain plea seeking to declare as void election of those facing criminal charges
 
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a PIL seeking to declare ‘null & void’ elections of those chargesheeted and facing a minimum of 5 years in jail under the charges.

A bench headed by Justice L.N. Rao and comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi cited the apex court verdict in 2018, which left it on the Parliament to make laws to ensure that people with pending criminal cases do not get into the political arena.

The bench emphasised that these are legislative issues, which are within the exclusive domain of Parliament and told the petitioner to pursue remedies for implementation of this judgement.

In September 2018, a five-judge Constitution bench had described criminalisation of politics as a termite for the citadel of democracy.

The observation from the bench came on a plea filed by NGO Lok Prahari, which submitted the election of persons facing criminal charges is contrary to rule of law. The petitioner emphasised that it runs contrary to the resolve of the Constitution, which is justice to all, and the issues highlighted in the plea were not the same before the bench which delivered the 2018 verdict. The petitioner also brought court’s attention on the section 100 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, which deals with grounds for declaring election to be void.

The bench replied that these grounds are in context of an election petition and only the Parliament can take up this issue, as prayer in the petition seeking amendment to the Act, could be done though the Parliament.

The top court heard the petitioner for close to 40 minutes. “We do not think we can help you. We will not interfere. But we will give you the liberty to pursue your other remedies as per the directions of the Constitution bench judgment”, the bench told the petitioner’s counsel.

 


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