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Home > News > PTI

Bill to bar criminals from Parliament

March 24, 2005 22:14 IST

A bill seeking to check the entry of criminals in Parliament and state legislatures was among the seven private members' bills introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

"The entry of persons having criminal background into representative bodies has become a matter of deep public concern. They get elected to representative institutions with huge public mandate through their terror tactics, money and muscle power and even by misleading common voters," the statement of objects and reasons of 'The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2005', introduced by Mohan Singh of the Samajwadi Party said.

There is a need to expand the ambit of offences enumerated in the Representation of the People Act for the purpose of disqualification from the membership of Parliament and state legislatures, it said.

"This will definitely check the entry of persons into representative bodies with criminal background such as those accused of murder."

Another bill envisaging the setting up of a commission to monitor and prevent communal violence was also introduced in the LS.

The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 2005, introduced by Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, sought the setting up of a full time commission empowered to initiate legal action against perpetrators of communal/sectarian violence and with legal powers to work for the compensation and rehabilitation of victims.

"Communalism has become a major threat to Indian civil society and polity. It has posed a serious challenge to the fundamentals of our Constitution. Even the highest court of the land has to intervene many a time to protect the principle of natural justice," the Bill said.

Another bill seeking to make voting compulsory failed to evoke much response in the Lok Sabha. Most parliamentarians advocated electoral reforms instead.

They said coercive method will kill the right to freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

Compulsory Voting Bill, 2004, introduced by Bharatiya Janata Party's Bachchi Singh Rawat, saw most members asking for reforms in the electoral process, including keeping away criminals and money power from the process.

More reports from Delhi
Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament

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