SC to hear plea seeking unseating of all convicted lawmakers

New Delhi, Dec 2: The Supreme Court will hear Dec 16 a plea by NGO Lok Prahari seeking unseating of the MPs and state lawmakers who stood convicted before the apex court held unconstitutional the provision of the electoral law giving them three months time to appeal to get a stay on their conviction and sentencing by a higher court.

Directing the listing of the matter Dec 16, a bench of Justice A.K.Patnaik and Justice Madan B. Lokur asked Lok Prahari to furnish the copies of its fresh applications to Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra representing the central government.

The NGO has sought the modification of the apex court’s July 10, 2013 order, which while holding that sub-section 4 of Section 8 of the Representation of People Act was ultra vires of the constitution, it had said that its judgment would be effective prospectively and not retrospectively.

The NGO has annexed a list eight convicted former MPs and legislators and another sitting MP and 23 legislators who are convicted but their membership was saved as they had appealed against their conviction and sentencing before July 10 verdict.

The apex court by its July 10, 2013, verdict had said, “…, if any sitting member of parliament or a state legislature is convicted of any of the offences mentioned in sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act and by virtue of such conviction and/or sentence suffers the disqualifications after the pronouncement of this judgment, his membership of parliament or the state legislature, as the case may be, will not be saved by sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act which we have by this judgment declared as ultra vires the Constitution…”.

It said the only question that remains to be decided is whether its ruling should affect disqualifications already incurred by sitting members of parliament and state legislatures who have filed appeals or revisions against their conviction within a period of three months and their appeals and revisions are still pending before the concerned court.

Answering the question itself, it said these “should not, in our considered opinion, be affected by the declaration now made by us in this judgment”.

This was because “the knowledge that sitting members of parliament or state legislatures will no longer be protected by sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act will be acquired by all concerned only on the date this judgment is pronounced by this court”.