SC issues notice in plea seeking ban on convicts from forming political parties  

Published on 02 Dec 2017 by Team

Image courtesy - barandbench.com

The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) in a plea seeking a ban on convicted persons from forming political parties and becoming crucial office bearers therein.

A Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra and Justices DY Chandrachudand AM Khanwilkar passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

The prevalent situation is that even if a convicted person is disqualified, she can continue to hold crucial positions in the political party she is a member of. The petition seeks banning the convicted persons from continuing to hold any position for the period disqualified. It also prays that Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 be declared unconstitutional and to authorize the ECI to de-register political parties taking in account the reports by the Goswami Committee on electoral reform.

The Goswami Committee suggests-

After the insertion of new section 29A of the Act for the purpose of making the political organizations seeking registration to conform in form only to the provisions of the Constitution, especially to the preamble thereto, the powers of the Election Commission in regard to registration of political parties under the Symbols Order has been taken away. The Election Commission has to apply the new provisions for the registration of political parties.”

The petition contends that only twenty per cent of registered political parties contest elections and the remaining only create excessive load on the electoral system. The petition further contends that political parties are required to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution and thus are important instrumentalities of democratic governance, and function like a Public Authority.

Therefore, convicted person must be restricted to form a political party and become political office bearer.

Senior Advocates Sidharth Luthra and Sajan Poovayya appeared and argued for the petitioner.

After hearing the arguments, the Bench proceeded to issue notice to the Central government and the Election Commission.

Source – barandbench.com


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