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SC notice to Centre, EC on disqualification of MPs, MLAs

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (UNI) The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre and the Election Commission of India on a petition challenging an amendment that a Member of Parliament or State Legislature would not be disqualified from being a member even after being convicted in a criminal case.

A three judge bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakker and Mr Justice R V Raveendran issued notices after hearing the counsel for a petitioner who contended that section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 was ultra-vires of the Constitution of India as the same was grossly arbitrary and in violation of article 14.

The petitioner, Vasant Kumar Chaudhary, in his PIL, has contended that the Constitution does not provide any special protection to sitting Members of Parliament or state legislature insofar as disqualification is concerned. Such classification between sitting members and non-members has nexus to the object that is disqualification. The petitioner has prayed to the court to quash the impugned section 8(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which provides protection to the convicted members of the Parliament and state legislature against disqualification.

He further argued that under article 102 and 191 of the Constitution of India, he or she can not even continue as a Member of Parliament or State legislature and there are no special protection for sitting members and therefore impugned section is unconstitutional and liable to be struck down.

UNI AKS-SC SHB NK DS1555

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