PIL in SC against 'automatic disqualification' of elected representatives on conviction

The petition has been filed late Friday evening and is likely to come up for hearing next week

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

NH Political Bureau

A day after Rahul Gandhi's disqualification, a PIL has been moved in the Supreme court against the "automatic disqualification" of elected representatives on conviction.

The plea says that "factors, such as nature, gravity, role, moral turpitude and the role of the accused, ought to be examined while considering disqualification under Chapter III of the 1951 Act."

The petition has been filed by a Kerala-based activist, Aabha Muralidharan, who has submitted that "section 8(3) is promoting a platform for false political agendas to be pursued by different political parties in the name of disqualification and hence is directly attacking the democratic structure of the people's representative in pursuance of political interest which can also cause unrest to the electoral system of the country."

"Operations of Lily Thomas (supra) are being blatantly misused for wreaking personal vengeance in political parties. That the present scenario provides a blanket disqualification, irrespective of the nature, gravity, and seriousness of the offences, allegedly against the concerned Member, and provides for an “automatic” disqualification, which is against the principles of Natural Justices, since various convictions are reversed" it has stated.

"All that the petitioner and the petition wish to establish is that the right under Article 19 1 (a) enjoyed by the Member of the Parliament is an extension of the voice of millions of his supporters. If the offence under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, which just technically has a maximum punishment of 2 years, is not removed singularly from the sweeping effect of the judgement in Lily Thomas, it will have a chilling effect on the right of representation of the citizens," it says further.

The petition has been filed late Friday evening and is likely to come up for hearing next week.

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