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Parliament asserts Supremacy: Passes Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013

Live Law News Network
7 Sep 2013 3:05 AM GMT
Parliament asserts Supremacy: Passes Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013
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The parliament has hurriedly passed the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, clearly stating that the same is brought to negate a Supreme Court order.  It is an open and plain assertion of legislative supremacy in law making process.

The statement and objects and reasons behind the amendment is seen stated in unequivocal terms. It says:

“A Division Bench of the Supreme Court by its order dated the 10th July, 2013, in the case of Chief Election Commissioner vs. Jan Chaukidar and others (Civil AppealNos. 3040-3041 of 2004), has upheld an order of the High Court of Patna declaring that a person who has no right to vote by virtue of sub-section (5) of section 62 of the said Act, is not an elector and is, therefore, not qualified to contest the election to either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly of a State.

3. The Government has examined the said order of the Supreme Court and has filed a petition for review of the said order in consultation with the Learned Attorney-General for India. Further, the Government is of the view that without waiting for the outcome of the said review petition, there is a need for suitably addressing the situation arising out of the said order of the Supreme Court. Therefore, it is proposed to amend the said Act.”

The attitude of the government appears aggressive in as much as it did not even want to wait for the outcome of the Review Petition filed in the Supreme Court. Eminent lawyers point out that having subjected to jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and the apex court agreeing to reconsider its decision, rushing with the amendment is improper.

The task of the government in passing the bill was made easy since it was clearly supported by the Opposition, barring a few members who wanted to have a discussion.

In the light of the Bill now passed by the both the houses of the Parliament, the Review Petition filed by the Government has become infructuous, and the same will be withdrawn.

The Supreme Court had earlier rejected Centre’s review petition seeking the review of its judgment, (Lily Thomas Case), debarring convicted MPs and MLAs, who have been awarded two years or more jail term, from contesting elections, but had agreed to reconsider the decision in Chief Election Commissioner vs. Jan Chaukidar and others (Civil Appeal Nos. 3040-3041 of 2004).
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