Friday, August 23, 2013
Finding way to remain unquestioned
The ruling as well as opposition political parties has been seen to be on the same page when either judiciary or executive tries to control and contain the criminal and corrupt activities of political leaders irrespective of political parties. The people of the nation are perturbed at the reaction of the political parties in regard to the Supreme Court ruling that the MPs and MLAs cease to be the member of Parliament and state legislative assembly respectively the day they are convicted by the law court for more than two years. SC has also ruled that political leaders can contest elections from the prisons. SC ruling has been hailed nationwide. This ruling of the Supreme Court upset the leaders of all political parties and they felt that it was an affront to their supremacy. MPs and MLAs consider themselves as supreme and no institution can challenge their supremacy only because they are the members of Parliament and state assemblies. Undoubtedly, Parliament is supreme but on that basis only because being member of this supreme body, they can not become above law. All are equal before law. SC ruling on disqualification of convicted lawmakers is praise worthy and it would prove to be the corner stone in checking criminalization of politics if our political class had not united to make it null and void. UPA government's activism with full support of almost all political parties to negate SC has sent out the wrong signal among the people. It has also strengthened the view among the people about political leaders that irrespective of political affiliations all are one when their personal interest and supremacy are attacked. It also sends the message that the political class itself does not want to decriminalize politics. To make Supreme Court order ineffective in regard to disqualification of convicted law makers, the Manmohan Singh government has given nod to the 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. 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.