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SC seeks law panel’s view on disqualification of lawmakers

supreme Court

The Supreme Court today asked the Law Commission to examine whether lawmakers can be disqualified either upon framing of charges by a court in heinous crimes or with the filing of charge sheet…
supreme CourtNew Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the Law Commission to examine whether lawmakers can be disqualified either upon framing of charges by a court in heinous crimes or with the filing of charge sheet and also evolve a mechanism for verifying veracity of affidavits.

The apex court said since the Law Commission is carrying out the research and preparing a comprehensive report on electoral reforms, it can give its report on these aspects which can be submitted to the Centre by February 2014 so that it is deliberated upon on March 10.

The two pointed questions were referred to by a bench of justices R M Lodha and Shivakirti Singh to the Law Commission.

The first question was whether a person can be disqualified on conviction or upon framing of charges by court in heinous crimes or with the filing of charge sheet?

Secondly, can there be a disqualification on filing false affidavit and if yes, what can be the mechanism for verifying the affidavits?

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO, Public Interest Foundation, demanding a ban on people charged with criminal offences from contesting polls.

The Election Commission has already proposed before Supreme Court that any person against whom a court has framed charges for offences punishable with a jail term of five years or more should be barred from contesting polls.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the EC had said that after being named in a case, a person ceases to have the integrity which is a must for any candidate seeking high public office.

“(After the framing of charges), the integrity and character of the accused is under scrutiny and he ceases to have the requisite excellence and integrity to be considered as a candidate for high public office,” EC had said in its affidavit.

EC had earlier said that it was pertinent to note that the framing of charges against an accused is done after the allegations and evidence have undergone judicial scrutiny.

Thus, charges are only framed against an accused after judicial notice has been taken of the charges and the court finds that a prima facie case exists, EC had said.

PTI

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