SC Fixes PIL For Ban On Convicted Persons From Heading Pol Parties For Final Hearing On Aug 13

SC Fixes PIL For Ban On Convicted Persons From Heading Pol Parties For Final Hearing On Aug 13

In the order, the bench directed all parties to submit their written submission in this regard a week before the final hearing.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has fixed the PIL seeking a ban on convicted persons from heading a political party and granting power to Election Commission to de-register political parties for “final disposal” on August 13.

In the order, the bench directed all parties to submit their written submission in this regard a week before the final hearing.

“We make it clear that the learned counsel for the petitioner should conclude the argument within an hour and learned counsel for the Union of India and the Election Commission of India should conclude their arguments within an hour and half”, said the order issued yesterday

Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud are the other judges in the bench.

On Monday, Questioning the stand adopted by the central government led by his party and fiercely opposing it, BJP leader and Supreme Court Ashwini Upadhyay has gone against his party line and reiterated that Supreme Court should ban convicted person- criminal or corrupt- from heading a political party

It is to be noted that Upadhyay is the petitioner in the PIL that seeks a ban on convicted politicians from heading a political party

When its stand was sought by the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra the Centre had opposed the blanket ban on convicted politicians from heading political parties saying appointment of a post-holder in a political party is a matter of party autonomy and it may not be apt to preclude the Election Commission from registering a party merely because a particular post-holder is not qualified to contest elections.

“Having regard to the existing provisions of law relating to registration of political part, there does not appear any connectivity and nexus between the situations debarring the persons disqualified under Representation of People’s Act and/or convicted under criminal law from contesting an election to parliament or state legislatures vis-a-vis debarring such persons from forming or becoming a member of any political party,” the government had added in its affidavit.

UPADHYAY’S STAND

But Upadhyay said in his rejoinder: This Hon’ble Court has emphasized and reiterated the need for ensuring and maintaining purity of highest legislative bodies. It is submitted that since the political parties choose candidates for these bodies, it is necessary that the persons controlling the party are themselves men/women of great character and integrity.

“Whatsoever a highly placed person does, the same is done by others as well. Whatever standards he sets, people follow. Therefore, it is imperative that our legislators, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion. This is necessary because not only they make laws for governance but also, and more importantly because they control the entire administrative system”, he said.

“The sharp deterioration in governance due to erosion of basic values of integrity, neutrality, and devotion to duty at all levels has been largely due to sharp fall in integrity and character of the ruling class over the years. The present day sad spectacle of even Central Ministers, Chief Ministers and top civil servants being sent to jail for corruption, and even judges of Superior Judiciary being accused of  corruption, which was unheard of earlier, is the direct fall out of lacunae in our electoral system which permits the corrupt and criminals to grab political power. Unless this is checked, it is futile to expect any improvement in governance and administration. As pointed out by our Hon’ble outgoing President “If the Gangotri gets polluted, neither Ganga nor any of its tributaries can stay unpolluted”, said Upadhyay.