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Tainted MPs: SC admits petition on RPA provisions
September 30, 2005 18:42 IST
The Supreme Court, on Friday, admitted a petition seeking quashing of certain provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which, it said, comes in the way of prohibiting crime-tainted persons from becoming Members of Parliament and State Legislature.
A Bench, comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti, Justice G P Mathur and Justice P K Balasubramanyam, issued notices to the Centre and the Election Commission on a petition filed by advocate Lilly Thomas, contending that Sections 8, 9 and 11-A of the RPA are unconstitutional.
The striking down of the three provisions was imperative as the Constitution holds that there was an absolute bar against the entry of crime-tainted persons as MPs and MLAs.
The petitioner said while section 8 and 9 needs to be struck down as it allows convicts, accused and criminals from becoming MPs and MLAs, section 11-A permits such persons to be included in voters' list making them eligible to contest polls.
The apex court was also to hear a PIL on the issue of tainted ministers but was adjourned due to technical reasons.
The PIL filed by Manoj Narula has challeged the inclusion of Lalu Prasad, Jai Prakash Yadav, M A A Fatmi, Mohd Taslimuddin and K Venkatapathy in the council of ministers on the ground that the ministers being required to carry out important constitutional functions should be of impeccable integrity.
The court has sought the assistance of Attorney General Milon Banerji on the controversial issue.
A petiton was earlier dismissed on the issue after assurance was given by the government it was ready for a debate and did not want to enter into a controversy about whether or not Parliament should debate on the issue.