25 Nov 2020 5:12 AM GMT
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a Lokpal-monitored investigation into the "criminal-political nexus" as pointed out in the Vohra Committee report.The petition filed on behalf of Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and seeks a Lokpal to monitor the investigation by National Investigation Authority, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Intelligence Bureau,...
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a Lokpal-monitored investigation into the "criminal-political nexus" as pointed out in the Vohra Committee report.
The petition filed on behalf of Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and seeks a Lokpal to monitor the investigation by National Investigation Authority, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Intelligence Bureau, SFIO, RAW, CBDT and the NCB.
Stating that the cause of action accrued when the Vohra Committee submitted its Report on criminal political nexus to the Centre.
"The Committee examined the problem of criminalisation of politics and the nexus among criminals-politicians-bureaucrats. It contains serious observations made by central agencies on the criminal network which was virtually running parallel government. It also discussed about criminal gangs who enjoyed patronage and protection of politicians and public servants and revealed that politicians had become the leaders of the gangs.....However, Centre has not taken appropriate steps, so, even one politician-public servant-criminal has not been prosecuted yet."
Stating that this has led to a situation where the injury to public is very large, Upadhyay has contended that few of these "Law-breaker" politicians are Member of Loksabha, Rajyasabha and State Assemblies and Centre has conferred them Padma Awards also.
Petitioner requests the Court to direct the Centre to handover the complete Vohra report with annexures, memorials and written evidence (that were placed before Vohra Committee) to the Director NIA, CBI, ED, IB, SFIO, RAW, CBDT, NCB for comprehensive investigation.
Alternatively, the Court may direct the Lokpal of India to monitor the investigation by NIA, CBI, ED, IB, SFIO, RAW, CBDT, NCB. The Court may empower Lokpal to exercise statutory powers under the CrPC and declare that it would be able to launch prosecutions against politicians-bureaucrats-criminals on the basis of evidence collected for offences under the IPC and other laws, the plea states.
The plea has contended that Separation of power cannot prevent the Supreme Court from passing directions necessary to address the systemic problem of the growing criminalization of politics and the political system without breaching the principle of separation of powers.
It is averred that the proposed direction is vital because functions performed by the legislators are vital to democracy and there is no reason why they should be held to lower standards than Judges or Indian Administrative Service officers.
"Candidates for judgeship of the Superior Courts or Indian Administrative Service certainly would not be considered at all, if there were criminal cases pending against them, let alone if charges had been framed for serious offences. In fact, Legislators are not only public servant but also the law makers hence they must comport higher ethics and morality," states the petitioner.
It is stated that the same would serve larger public interest and that the a law would also pass rational classification test under Article 14 because the class of candidates who have serious criminal charges framed against them is clearly distinct from the class that does not and the classification has a rational nexus with the larger objective of stopping criminalization of polity.