Centre Opposes Plea For Barring Convicts From Heading Political Parties [Read Affidavit]

The Centre has advised the Supreme Court that appointment of a post-holder in a political celebration is an issue of celebration autonomy and it will not be apt to preclude the Election Commission from registering a celebration simply as a result of a selected post-holder isn’t certified to contest elections.

“…the post holder of any party is not a ‘representative’ (in terms of RPA)…the appointment of a post holder to a political party is a matter of party autonomy and it may not be apposite to preclude the EC from registering a political party merely because a particular post-holder is not qualified to contest elections,” the Centre stated in a testimony filed sooner than the apex courtroom.

The affidavit has been filed by way of the Ministry of Law and Justice in line with a petition initiated by way of suggest and activist Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in search of a ban on convicted particular person from forming a political celebration and turning into a political workplace bearer for the duration he’s disqualified below sections eight, 8A, nine, 9A, 10, 10A, 11A, 41 and 62 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

The courtroom had determined to interpret Section 29A RPA, which offers with registration with the Election Commission as a political celebration, and likewise read about if the ECI is clothed with the facility of denying the advantage of registration below Section 29A to a political celebration whose office-holders are individuals disqualified below the Act to face for election as a result of a conviction.

Upadhyay has stated in his petition that “injury is caused to the public because many corrupt, criminal and convicted persons have formed a political party and threatens the fundamental right guaranteed under the Article 19 by using money and muscle power”.

“Presently, even a person, who has been convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, money laundering, sedition, loot, dacoity etc. can form a political party and become party president,” he stated.

“For instance, Mr. Lalu Yadav, Mr. O.P. Chautala and Mrs. Shashi Kala have been convicted for major scams but still holding highest political post. Similarly, charges have been framed by the Court in serious cases against Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, Mr. Raja, Mr. Jagan Reddy, Mr. Madhu Koda, Mr. Ashok Chavan, Mr. Akabaruddin Owaisi, Mrs. Kanimozhi, Mr. Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, Mr. Virbhadra Singh, Mr. Mukhtar Ansari, Md. Shahabuddin, Mr. Suraj Bhan Singh, Mr. Anand Mohan Singh, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ms. Mayawati and Brijesh Singh etc., but they are still holding political post and wielding political power,” the PIL added.

The Centre’s affidavit filed in line with the petition additionally speaks towards any connectivity between the present provisions of regulation for registration of a celebration and the prayer made within the petition.

“…having regard to the existing provisions of law relating to ‘registration of political party’ there does not appear to be any connectivity or nexus between the situations debarring the persons disqualified under the (Representation of People Act, 1951) Act and/ or convicted under criminal law from contesting an election to Parliament and/ or state legislatures vis a vis debarring such persons from forming or becoming a member of any political party…,” it stated.

The affidavit knowledgeable the courtroom that the Centre had referred the problem in terms of electoral reforms in its entirety to the Law Commission of India for exam and suggesting believable suggestions and the Commission has since tendered its 255th record, which additionally incorporated the problem of law of political events and internal celebration democracy and after having detailed deliberations at the factor, the Law Commission has made many ideas.

Informing that the stated record is below exam by way of the Government of India for framing up of a roadmap, “there is, however, no such recommendation or suggestion made by the law commission in relation to Section 29A and refusal of registration of political parties based on criminal antecedents of post holders of such parties”.

“…In fact the said report has suggested empowering ECI to de-register parties in certain situations, none of which are relatable to existence of criminal antecedents of post-holders of a political party,” stated the Centre.

It additionally went on so as to add that neither the Goswami committee record nor the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution have made such advice.

The Centre additionally added that the prayer made by way of the petition best relates to safety measure by way of refusing to sign in a political celebration, on the other hand, it does now not deal with the problem of political events that once registration have submit holders who’re disqualified from contesting elections.

Relying at the Supreme Court case titled Indian National Congress vs Institute Of Social Welfare, it stated the Election Commission below Section 29A has no energy to deregister or cancel the registration of a political celebration except for in 3 eventualities none of which relates to the antecedents of a submit holder.

It additionally stated the petition isn’t maintainable since writ of mandamus difficult the Centre to make modification to any regulation isn’t maintainable.

Read the Affidavit Here

Updated: March 21, 2018 — 3:02 pm
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