New Delhi, July 22: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition which alleged that elected representatives continue as MLAs despite a conviction by courts in rural areas.
The petition seeks to disqualify lawmakers after conviction and alleged that the same is not being implemented.
As per the law, a convicted person is not permitted to contest the elections. However, many MLAs who have been convicted by courts in the rural area continue as MLAs and hence action ought to be taken, the petition also alleged.
The Supreme Court sought to know why the ECI had not taken steps to implement the law. The SC had in the year 2013 struck down Section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples' Act to order the disqualification of persons who were convicted by a court of law.
The law prior to 2013 stated that a person could continue as an elected representative merely if he or she filed an appeal. However, the Supreme Court reversed the same and ordered that on being convicted by any court, the person be barred from holding office.
In the petition it was further stated that there is no system in place in the courts to intimate the ECI. Upon conviction, courts must have a system to send information to the Election Commission of India about the conviction of an elected representative, the petitioner also stated.