Politicians charged with cognisable offence to be barred? SC reserves order

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a batch of petitions seeking a direction that politicians charged with cognisable offences shall be debarred from contesting polls, at the stage when the charges are framed by the Court provided the offence is punishable by imprisonment of five years or more.

A five-judge constitution bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, reserved its order after hearing from the Central government and all the petitioners.

During the course of the hearing, the Centre opposed the petitions and submitted to the apex court that 'before a person is not being convicted, how can you stop him or her from contesting election? '

In reply, the petitioners argued before the apex court that if there would not be a ban on those persons charged with cognisable offences, then the decriminalisation of politics would increase. The petitioners stressed that there should be a ban and a direction should be passed by the apex court to the political parties whose members are charged with these offences.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had supported the petitioners and said the ban should be imposed on those politicians who are charged with cognisable offences.

While hearing a batch of petitions seeking decriminalisation of politics, the five-judge constitution bench observed that the Parliament makes laws, while we only declare laws.

Appearing for the Union of India (UOI), Attorney General, (AG), K K Venugopal, had opposed to the PILs.

He had submitted to the apex court that no one can be disqualified before his or her conviction in any case and it is the Parliament to amend or make any laws into it.

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