PIL In SC Seeking Ban On Convict Or Disqualified Person From Forming Political Party Or Holding Its Office [Read Petition]

With a view to decriminalise electoral system and ensure democracy within the party, a public interest litigation has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking ban on a convicted person from forming a political party or becoming political office-bearer.

The PIL, filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, also sought "ban on the convicted person from forming a political party and becoming political office bearer, for the period, he is disqualified for registration in electoral roll under section 16 of the RPA,1950, contesting election under sections 8, 8A, 9, 9A, 10 or 10A of the RPA,1951, disqualified for voting under Section 11A of the RPA,1951, disqualified for being election agent under section 41 of the RPA, 1951, or forfeit his right to vote under section 62 of the RPA,1951".

In line with his previous PIL for more independence to the Election Commission of India, Upadhyay prayed that the ECI be authorised to register and de-register any political party.

He also sought direction to the ECI to frame guidelines to decriminalise the electoral system and ensure inner party democracy.

The PIL follows November 1 order of the Supreme Court directing the Centre to frame within 6 weeks scheme for setting up special courts for trying criminal cases involving political persons on lines of fast track court.

That order had also come in a PIL filed by Upadhyay seeking life-long disqualification on convicted MPs and MLAs.

According to the data compiled by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), there were 1,581 legislators, against whom criminal cases were pending in 2014.

In the instant PIL, Upadhyay said: "Injury is caused to public because many corrupt, criminal and convicted persons have formed political party and threatens the fundamental right guaranteed under the Article 19 by using money and muscle power."

Presently, even a person, who has been convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, money laundering, sedition, loot, dacoity etc., can form a political party and become party president, he said.

"For instance, Mr Lalu Yadav, Mr OP Chautala and Mrs Shashi Kala have been convicted for major scams but still holding highest political post.

"Similarly, charges have been framed by the Court in serious cases against Mr Suresh Kalmadi, Mr Raja, Mr Jagan Reddy, Mr Madhu Koda, Mr Ashok Chavan, Mr Akabaruddin Owaisi, Mrs Kanimozhi, Mr Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, Mr Virbhadra Singh, Mr Mukhtar Ansari, Md Shahabuddin, Mr Suraj Bhan Singh, Mr Anand Mohan Singh, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ms Mayawati and Mr Brijesh Singh  etc, but they are still holding political post and wielding political power," the PIL added.

Read the Order Here