New Delhi: The Cabinet Ministers will meet on October 2 to decide on the ordinance on convicted legislators. The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday cleared an ordinance which allows convicted and jailed MPs and MLAs to contest elections.
Hovever, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has forced the Congress to rethink on the ordinance after he called it a 'nonsense' and 'should by torn and thrown away'. "All parties do this because of political considerations and we must stop making compromises," Rahul had said.
The ordinance is a reversal of the Supreme Court judgement that had not only disqualified lawmakers convicted of offences with 2 years or more in jail but also also barred from contesting elections.
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The ordinance will allow convicted legislators to continue in office, if the appeal against the conviction is admitted by a higher court within 90 days. The ordinance says that if a lawmaker appeals his conviction or the sentence is stayed by a higher court, he can attend Parliament/ state Assemblies but cannot draw salaries or vote. In a landmark ruling the Supreme Court had on July 10, 2013 struck down the legal provision that protects a lawmaker from disqualification even after conviction in a criminal case.
The Supreme Court ruled that MPs or MLAs shall stand disqualified from holding the membership of the house from the date of conviction in a trial court. The court held Section 8(4) of the Representation of the Peoples Act as ultra vires. The section allows a convicted lawmaker to remain in office till the pendency of appeal.
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