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SC notice to Centre on plea for debarring convicted MLAs, MPs from contesting polls

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Union of India (UOI) on the application (amended) filed by the petitioner and lawyer, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, regarding debarring convicted MLAs and MPs from contesting elections for life.
SC notice to Centre on plea for debarring convicted MLAs, MPs from contesting polls

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Union of India (UOI) on the application (amended) filed by the petitioner and lawyer, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, regarding debarring convicted MLAs and MPs from contesting elections for life.

"We grant six weeks time to the respondent (UOI)," a three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice N V Ramana said today, in its order.

Senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General (AAG) Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, Upadhayay, said that MPs and MLAs accused of heinous crimes continue to be in parliament and even become ministers.

Singh said that the Apex Court had said my original petition did not say how debarment should take place, but now the amendment application has provisions on how it can be done.

Justice Ramana said, "Our priority is how to expedite pending trials."

Taking into consideration the relief sought, the pleadings and the orders passed by this Court in this matter, it is clear that all the criminal cases, even under special legislations, where MPs/MLAs (sitting or former) are involved are the subject matter of the present proceedings, the Apex Court said.

Even though we have granted time to all the High Courts to furnish the requisite information, only the High Courts of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Jharkhand and Guwahati have done so, the top court said.

It also made it clear that the remaining High Courts have not yet furnished the requisite information regarding cases pending against legislators (sitting or former) under the abovementioned special legislations, in compliance with earlier orders.

The Apex Court will now hear the matter again on September 16, Wednesday.

The petitioner-cum-lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, had moved the Apex Court seeking a direction regarding debarring convicted MLAs and MPs from contesting elections for life and setting up of special courts and speedy disposal of cases against the convicted MLAs and MPs.

( With inputs from ANI )

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