Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has agreed for an elaborate hearing on a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, which disqualifies a person from contesting elections for six years after completion of sentence of two or more years in a criminal case.
Appearing for petitioner, senior advocate Vikas Singh told a Bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud that though conviction of an employee in a criminal case resulted in dismissal from service and a life ban on employment, a politician could get back to the same legislature despite being convicted for serious offences like rape and murder.
“On Section 8(3) challenge, I have got details of the European Commission which is inquiring into different jurisdictions debarring lawmakers after their conviction in criminal cases. This will take some time for the court to conduct a detailed deliberation,” Singh said.
The Bench was informed by amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria and advocate Sneha Kalita that they have filed a detailed note on how Section 8(3) made an arbitrary distinction between lawmakers and others and that it violated several fundamental principles of the Constitution.
The Bench said it had reserved its verdict on the mechanism to be laid down to expedite trials in criminal cases against sitting and ex-lawmakers.