Disqualification of convicted representatives in India


Supreme Court of India, in its judgement dated 10 July 2013 while disposing the Lily Thomas v. Union of India case (along with Lok Prahari v. Union of India),[1] ruled that any Member of Parliament (MP), Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Member of a Legislative Council (MLC) who is convicted of a crime and given a minimum of two years' imprisonment, loses membership of the House with immediate effect. This is in contrast to the earlier position, wherein convicted members held on to their seats until they exhausted all judicial remedy in lower, state and supreme court of India. Further, Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed elected representatives three months to appeal their conviction,[2] was declared unconstitutional by the bench of Justice A. K. Patnaik and Justice S. J. Mukhopadhaya.[3]

Resistance from government


In an attempt to overturn this decision, the Representation of the People (Second Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, was introduced into the Rajya Sabha on 30 August by Law Minister Kapil Sibal; by the proposed amendment, representatives would not be disqualified immediately after conviction.[4] The Indian government also filed a review petition, which the Supreme Court dismissed.[5] On 24 September, a few days before the fodder scam verdict, the government tried to bring the bill into effect as an ordinance.[6] However, Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President of the Indian National Congress, made his opinion of the ordinance clear in a press meeting: "It's complete nonsense. It should be torn up and thrown away."[7] Members of opposition parties claimed that Gandhi's comments indicated total confusion within the government, and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[8][9] Within 5 days, both the ordinance and the bill were withdrawn on 2 October.[10]

On 1 October 2013, Rasheed Masood became the first MP to lose his membership of parliament under the new guidelines, when he was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for cheating, forgery and corruption.[11]

List of elected representatives disqualified after conviction by a court of law


Representative Party Representation Case Date of conviction Status
J. Jayalalithaa AIADMK Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state
MLA from R. K. Nagar, Tamil Nadu
convicted for 4 years and fined of 100 crore (US$14 million) in disproportionate assets case but only the imprisonment was nullified due to abatement. February 2017 Deceased and Abated
Kamal Kishore Bhagat All Jharkhand Students Union MLA from Lohardaga (Vidhan Sabha constituency), Jharkhand convicted for attempt to murder case June 2015 Disqualified[12]
Suresh Halvankar BJP MLA from Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra convicted for 3 years in power theft case May 2014 Disqualified[13]
T. M. Selvaganapathy DMK Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu convicted for 2 years in cremation shed case April 2014 Resigned[14]
Babanrao Gholap Shiv Sena MLA from Deolali, Maharashtra convicted for 3 years in disproportionate assets case March 2014 Disqualified[15]
Enos Ekka Jharkhand Party MLA, Kolebira, Jharkhand state Convicted for life imprisonment 2014 Disqualified[16]
Asha Rani BJP MLA from Bijawar, Madhya Pradesh convicted for abetting suicide of maid November 2013 Disqualified[17]
Rasheed Masood Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh convicted for 4 years in MBBS seats scam September 2013 Disqualified[18]
Lalu Prasad Yadav RJD Lok Sabha MP from Saran, Bihar convicted for 5 years in Fodder scam September 2013 Disqualified[19]
Jagdish Sharma JD(U) Lok Sabha MP from Jahanabad, Bihar convicted for 4 years in Fodder scam September 2013 Disqualified[19]
Pappu Kalani MLA from Ulhasnagar Convicted[20] 2013

References


  1. "Lily Thomas vs Union of India & Ors. on 10 July, 2013". indiankanoon.org. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  2. "Section 8 in The Representation of the People Act, 1951". indiankanoon.org. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  3. "MPs, MLAs to be disqualified on date of criminal conviction". The Hindu. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  4. "Bill for no immediate disqualification of convicted MPs, MLAs". The New Indian Express. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  5. "SC dismisses govt review petition on convicted politicians, sticks to its stand". Deccan Chronicle. 4 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  6. "Ahead of fodder case verdict comes ordinance to protect lawmakers". The Hindu. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  7. "Rahul Gandhi trashes ordinance, shames government". The Times of India. 28 September 2013. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  8. "BJP seeks PM's resignation, opposition parties slam government". Business Standard. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  9. "PM should quit if he with Rahul Gandhi on ordinance: Chandrababu Naidu". The Indian Express. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  10. "'Nonsense' ordinance withdrawn". Business Line. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  11. "Congress's Rasheed Masood jailed for 4 years in MBBS seat scam, loses RS seat". CNN IBN. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  12. "Jharkhand MLA Kamal Kishore Bhagat jailed for 7 years for attempt to murder". The Times of India. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  13. "No HC relief for disqualified BJP MLA in power theft case". Business Standard. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  14. "A day after conviction, DMK leader T M Selvaganapathy resigns from Rajya Sabha". Economic Times. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  15. "Bombay High Court dismisses 5-time Shiv Sena MLA plea for suspension of graft conviction". DNA India. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  16. "Convicted Jharkhand MLA Enos Ekka loses Kolebira assemblyseat". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  17. "BJP MLA, Bhaiya Raja get 10-yr in jail". The Pioneer. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  18. "Convicted Congress MP Rasheed Masood disqualified from Rajya Sabha". The Times of India. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  19. "Fodder scam: Lalu Yadav, Jagdish Sharma disqualified from Lok Sabha". Zee News. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  20. "Ex-Ulhasnagar-MLA-Pappu-Kalani-3-others-convicted-for-businessmans-murder". The Times of India.