ibnlive » India

Jul 12, 2013 at 05:13pm IST

Judicial verdicts will force parties to change: Dr Jayaprakash Narayan

Does the Supreme Court decision to disqualify convicted MPs and MLAs show that the judiciary has given up all hope on the politicians to reform themselves? Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, president of Lok Satta Party, joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. The Orders of Honourable SC is mostly likely to be challenged by the government and almost all political parties. An appeal is likely to stay operations of the verdict. Would this require a more wide debate and re-framing of PR act? Asked by: sundar1950in

Judicial verdicts will force parties to change: Dr Jayaprakash Narayan

SC order to decriminalise politics?

A. The SC's order on disqualification of MLAs/ MPs and conviction are unassailable. Reasoning is sound. A review as well as any further amendment will fail in judicial purview. Equality before law is a basic feature of constitution. Courts merely upheld, govt and parties will be foolish if they tried to reverse it, will face public wrath.

Q. What are measures to be taken to restore faith in law and law enforcement agencies? A simple civil case these days runs for years. "Justice delayed is justice denied". Does increase in number of courts solve the problem? Asked by: Revanth D

A. Speedy justice is vital. We need many measures: More courts; local courts; simpler procedures; minimum adjournments; more effective conciliation and plea bargaining provisions etc.

Q. For people at large in immediate sense this is a welcome decision. having said that, given that judiciary is taking such a proactive role in critical aspects of democracy, Will it lead to a day where legislature looses the confidence of people to judiciary which is not good for the balance among democratic institutions of our country? Asked by: Rajendra Boppana

A. Undoubtedly there is a lot of anger against politicians. People are looking up to courts to solve all problems. But Courts have their limitations. Deep political crisis cannot be resolved through judicial measures. The only antidote to bad politics is more politics and good politics - not, no politics.

Q. Politics has become a family affair. Politicians promote their son or daughter or wife to hold office for him. This in turn has led to an erosion of fine talents from coming into politics. Is it time that people reject family politicos unless they have shown an interest in serving people? Asked by: EM

A. True. All MPs below 30 years of age, 65% between 31 and 40 years of age, and about 40% between 41 and 50 are there because of pedigree and family. Primary elections for choice of candidates, more assertive electorate and electoral reform bringing in proportional representation will eliminate dynastic politics and allow clean and competent citizens to be elected

Q. Sir, why not make voting mandatory in India. If we all are forced to vote then all the lazy and educated people go to vote and most of them will not vote for a person with criminal record or not good to represent them. This will also bring lot of normal and educated people into politics and give us a chance to become a developed country. Please let us know your thoughts on this? Asked by: Ashok Chava

A. Evidence shows that with compulsory voting the polling is 10-15% higher. Our democracy will improve only if middle classes and youth vote in larger numbers. Compulsory voting will certainly help. We need to build consensus among parties

Q. SC ordered that those not eligible to vote are not eligible to contest. those on bail can contest.Persons for minor offence as under trial prisoners can not contest whereas persons with serious criminal charges out on bail can contest. Does it not seem to be defying logic? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Application of law can lead to some aberrations. The court's verdict is technical in nature. Those in lawful custody are not electors; only electors can contest.

Q. Sir, don't you think the percentage of politicians with criminal cases pending against them is much more in our country compared to other country which has prompted SC to deliver the present judgment? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker

A. One out of six legislators has serious criminal record. We must exclude those who are charged with offences related to agitations. A crime lord brings caste power, big money and organization to politics, and is much more likely to be elected than others. That's why we need deeper electoral and police reform.

Q. Sir, I have two questions regarding the ruling of the SC. 1) How can it be ensured that the ruling is not used for political vendetta by the party in power as is the case with CBI that we are seeing? 2) Also, the government is already trying to come with the modifications to the RPA Act( Representation of the people) to suit its needs for which I think all the other parties are willing to support unilaterally though we see such unity very rarely in public related issues. What purpose is it gonna serve if a ruling of Judicial review can be overridden with such ease? Thanks Much. Asked by: ChintuAnkith

A. As far as Section 8(A) is concerned, the Supreme Court verdict cannot be altered by a law or an ordinance. The court merely upheld equality before law which is the basic feature of the Constitution. Conviction is not in the hands of the CBI or the police, and therefore there is no reason to fear that SC verdict will be used to harass political opponents.

Q. Sir, don't you think sometimes the political parties have to give tickets to the tainted candidates out of compulsion as the win0ability factor is equally important? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker

A. A crime lord brings caste power, big money and organization to politics, and is much more likely to be elected than others. That's why we need deeper electoral and police reform.

Q. What kind of candidates you will keep in your party? Those have past criminal records or wealthy candidates or middle class or educated? how and why? Asked by: Naresh

A. We look for clean, credible, acceptable candidates who have balanced views, a track record of service, organizational ability and leadership qualities.

Q. The SC order is clear case of overreach and sound death knell for democracy and the illness of democracy can be cured by more democracy, unfortunately the judges seems to have forgotten this, isn't it? Asked by: kochappan

A. I do not agree. SC merely upheld rule of law. The law so far is the sitting MLAs and MPs are different from other citizens. Ordinary citizens are disqualified on conviction. But Sec 8 (4) says MLAs and MPs are will not be disqualified until their appeals are disposed of. please remember that judicial verdict takes years and years. Rajiv Gandhi's assassins were convicted 8 years later! And then only six percent of criminal cases end in conviction unless there is confession. And if after all that, a convicted MLA / MP cannot be disqualified, then politics truly becomes the refuge of scoundrels and criminals.

Q. I think sir, it has not given up hope, but is once again reminding them to clean up the mess. Indeed, there is lot of pressure on the political class. RTI, media, courts, PIL have indeed made it difficult for the politician. I really liked the arguments proffered by you on the national television. How would you explain, this: Lalu was charge-sheeted in the fodder scam, his wife becomes the CM. Centre of power did not move from him, he still was the defacto CM. Don't you think this should also be stopped? Asked by: S ESHWAR

A. True. All MPs below 30 years of age, 65% between 31 and 40 years of age, and about 40 percent between 41 and 50 are there because of pedigree and family. Primary elections for choice of candidates, more assertive electorate and electoral reform bringing in proportional representation will eliminate dynastic politics and allow clean and competent citizens to be elected.

Q. Parties themselves encouraging criminals in politics. Any political party has guts to disqualify their member who involved in criminal activities? Asked by: Sravankumar Gantala

A. Judicial verdicts and public pressure will certainly force parties to change their behavior. But we need three important steps. 1. Those who are charged with serious offences by a court of law after prima facie enquiry should be disqualified by law, subject to a review by an advisory board headed by a High Court Judge. 2. Genuine police reforms eliminating political interference in crime investigation and prosecution need to be carried out. Otherwise politics will attract criminals like a magnet and those in power can clean up their records by controlling the police. 3. As stated before, criminals eminently electable in our electoral system as they bring caste base, big money and organization to politics. We need PR system to make clean, credible and competent candidates electable. Parties have not taken a vow to destroy India. They do everything possible to get elected and to stay in power. We need to create the right kind of incentives so that the dirty deeds and criminals do not enjoy an advantage.

Q. Sir, The few eminent, and qualified people like you in politics, are not focused on success in the elections. One thing they are failing is to connect with people and publicize the good they are achieving. Isn't this making it easy for the criminals, and the corrupt to market themselves as electable? Asked by: Aditya D

A. Success at what cost? If clean people adopt unclean methods, then the incentives change and they can no longer remain clean. They'll become part of the problem. Given our conditions, most traditional parties have reached a low level of equilibrium. They found that unethical and irrational politics is sustainable in today's power game. Our challenge is how to make ethical and rational politics sustainable. In our anxiety to win the battles, we cannot afford to lose the war.

Q. Its a welcome judgment. But will it totally stop criminals entering into politics/public office? Asked by: chandramouli

A. Judicial verdicts and public pressure will certainly force parties to change their behavior. But we need three important steps. 1. Those who are charged with serious offences by a court of law after prima facie enquiry should be disqualified by law, subject to a review by an advisory board headed by a High Court Judge. 2. Genuine police reforms eliminating political interference in crime investigation and prosecution need to be carried out. Otherwise politics will attract criminals like a magnet and those in power can clean up their records by controlling the police. 3. As stated before, criminals eminently electable in our electoral system as they bring caste base, big money and organization to politics. We need PR system to make clean, credible and competent candidates electable. Parties have not taken a vow to destroy India. They do everything possible to get elected and to stay in power. We need to create the right kind of incentives so that the dirty deeds and criminals do not enjoy an advantage.

Q. Sir, as you rightly said more courts and local courts will ensure speedy justice but how we are going to face the scarcity of judges to do as such? Asked by: Raghu

A. There are plenty of qualified lawyers who can be appointed as judges. Rule of law is the first responsibility of the Government. We need political will to provide adequate resources for justice delivery, to simplify procedures, and to improve recruitment process at all levels of judiciary.

Q. JP-sir, I have a feeling the SC order is half-baked, convicts' sentences will in future be 'adjusted' accordingly, your opinion? Asked by: Hari from ShantalaDamle Campaign

A. As I said before, SC merely reiterated equality before law. There are only a handful of sitting legislators who have been convicted. Therefore, this verdict does not really make a big difference. It is a small, justified step. No more. We need to do a lot more as I outlined earlier.

Q. Sir, I am confused kindly help to understand, same court giving the breathing to scam king of decades to relief, and same time court giving the direction for republic of India how to act! who is going to catch the cat until century old constitution which is not ours pertaining in our system,do you think our young generation adhere to it? Asked by: Biswajit Pandey

A. Courts are good at interpreting grand constitutional principles. But they are weak in ensuring speedy and efficient justice. There are many delays; incompetence and even corruption are not uncommon. Procedures are complex and dilatory. The system is stacked against the victims and general public, and works in favour of the corrupt and the criminals. Therefore significant judicial and police reforms are equally the need of the hr. Lok Satta worked for local courts with simpler procedures. We are now working hard for a National Judicial Commission, Indian Judicial Service, autonomous crime investigation and prosecution with accountability, and other measures.

Q. JP: Due to this new judgement, what will happen to Mr YS Jaganmohan Reddy in AP? If he gets bail before Lok Sabha elections, will he be able to contest and otherwise he can not? Your thoughts please! Asked by: Nagesh Marudadu

A. As per the latest Supreme Court order, those in lawful custody are not electors, and, therefore, cannot be candidates. Therefore, if during the election process, a person is in lawful custody, he or she cannot contest until the ruling is reversed or the law is amended.

Q. In the present situation what are the chances of misuse of the order by politicians by foisting false and fake allegations or stage manage incidents to get the rivals into the disqualified group? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Conviction is not in the hands of politicians and policemen. As I explained above only a small percentage of cases end up in conviction after years of delay in investigation and trial. Therefore there is no reason to fear that politicians can influence conviction. But if we bring in the law to disqualify those who have been charged by a court with serious offences, then there is danger of manipulation of the process by rival politicians. Therefore in such cases a safeguard is needed in the form of an advisory board headed by a High Court Judge with the power to review framing of charges.

Q. Dear JP sir, this sure is a welcome ruling. But, 1.)Does it not signify judicial over-reach? 2.)How to ensure against this rule being abused for political vendetta? Asked by: Ramesh V

A. Please see the answers above

Q. Corruption exists at all levels in the Indian society and the root of this is corrupt leadership, did SC realize it just now? SC's judgement is welcome, but it's laughable that it took so many years to arrive at such a decision. There will still be loopholes in this decision that will be exploited by these expert con-men. How many MPs/MLas have been convicted till date? After this decision, will we see more convictions? NO! Does this decision affect any of the current politicians? hardly. The judgement should have been to disqualify MPs and MLAs the moment they are charge-sheeted. But I doubt Indian judiciary has the spine to give this kind of judgement. The judiciary itself does not have a clean image for that matter. Asked by: Chetan Arshid

A. You are right. It is a small step merely reiterating equality before law. This does not really change things. As I explained above a lot needs to be done to clean up politics.

Q. Sir, how about to set some qualifications and some experience in administration/public service need to nominate for MLA/MP? Asked by: srikanth

A. It will not work. Instead, a more sensible electoral system to make clean and competent candidates electable, empowerment of local governments to allow the rise of time tested leadership, and primary elections within parties to choose the best candidates are the necessary steps to ensure that the best and brightest can play an active role in politics.

Q. Will such orders from court hasten the process of reforms in Judiciary and start cleansing operations at their home front also, which had been commented upon by the judges themselves? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. There are plenty of qualified lawyers who can be appointed as judges. Rule of law is the first responsibility of the govt. We need political will to provide adequate resources for justice delivery, to simplify procedures, and to improve recruitment process at all levels of judiciary.

Q. Is it not more better to prevent the profit-minded people(business people) and evil-minded people(convicts) from participating in the public life(including political parties)? Asked by: B SANKARANARAYANA

A. The present efforts, though insufficient, are meant to reduce the role of criminals in politics. But it is neither feasible nor desirable to prevent entry of businessmen or for that matter those in any other profession, into politics. As long as a person is involved in a lawful activity, he or she should be free to enter politics and should be judged by leadership qualities and record of service.

Q. How do we create a path or way to make good souls who want to serve into politics. Asked by: prabhakaran

A. 1. Those who are charged with serious offences by a court of law after prima facie enquiry should be disqualified by law, subject to a review by an advisory board headed by a High Court Judge. 2. Genuine police reforms eliminating political interference in crime investigation and prosecution need to be carried out. Otherwise politics will attract criminals like a magnet and those in power can clean up their records by controlling the police. 3. As stated before, criminals eminently electable in our electoral system as they bring caste base, big money and organization to politics. We need PR system to make clean, credible and competent candidates electable. Parties have not taken a vow to destroy India. They do everything possible to get elected and to stay in power. We need to create the right kind of incentives so that the dirty deeds and criminals do not enjoy an advantage.

Q. How black money developing in the country can you please tell me? Asked by: Naveen Reddy

A. Massive corruption, undervalued real estate transactions involving cash and illegitimate, vast election expenditure in elections are the key sources or drivers of black money. Earlier tax evasion was the key driver. But with more rational tax rates, better tax administration and increasing computerization, tax evasion is coming down.

Q. The onus in implementing the latest SC verdict lies on the political parties. Why don't they act accordingly, in reforming the Indian politics? Why don't SC make a compulsion on them(political parties)? Asked by: B SANKARANARAYANA

A. SC's order is binding on all parties and the election commission. There is no possibility of convicted persons being put up as candidates. The real problems are those charged but not yet convicted, known criminals who could not be convicted for want of evidence and political interference in crime investigation which makes it easy to doctor evidence and clean up the record of many criminals. I have outlined earlier the steps needed to address these problems. In addition, we must go in for electoral reforms in such a manner that corrupt netas and criminals do not have an advantage in politics, and clean and credible candidates become electable once again.

Q. Govt is gearing up to challenge this ruling. A common man can see this only as a step to protect the political interests of criminals. Isn't, challenging this ruling showing utter disrespect to public interest & the country. What are your thoughts on this? Asked by: Vijay Sumanth

A. A legal challenge to SC verdict is bound to fail. It is impossible to argue that MLAs/MPs should be treated on a higher pedestal before law. But the SC ruling regarding ineligibility of those in lawful custody (during investigation / trial ) could perhaps be challenged or the law could be amended. But even that would be difficult to accomplish because it will be politically unpopular, and parties which defy public opinion will pay a price at the polls.

Q. Can this be extended to people who are out on bail? Asked by: Abhimanyu Reddy

A. The present SC order regarding those in lawful custody does not apply to those free on bail. Those on bail have a right to vote under the law, and therefore are electors. They can contest elections. But those who are charged with serious offences by a court are disqualified through an amendment of the law, those on bail will not be eligible to contest.

  • 2
  • 0
  • 0

Latest