Thursday, 5 September 2013

Times Now accesses Government note on the Centre’s counter strategy on decriminalization of politics

Click on the link below to watch the Times Now video on the story - 


Wednesday, August 21 2013 – Even when the Government’s review petition against the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict on the decriminalization of politics is pending before the SC, the Government has come up with a strategy to allow a convicted criminal politician to attend Parliament and the State Assembly. 

Times Now has accessed an exclusive copy of a cabinet note in which the government goes on to say that a person whose name has been entered in the electoral roll should not cease to be an elector even when the person is jailed. The note says that during an all party meet held to discuss the SC’s verdict on decriminalization of politics, all political parties had a consensual view that criminal netas need to be protected.

The documents reveal that the Law Ministry has approved the amendments to the Representation of the People Act 1951. It goes on to mention that the amendment is necessary to overcome the adverse effect of the judgment of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that an MP or an MLA can be disqualified if he is convicted for an offence attracting a sentence of more than 2 years

In what can be seen as a blatant move to justify the government’s attempt to protect convicted netas, the note goes onto say “the SC order has wide ramifications and is prone to misuse…. how can a well known leader, who gets arrested after filing nomination paper be disqualified and his nomination paper cancelled? This will deprive the candidate from contesting elections”. As a face saver clause in the note, the Law Ministry states that convicted netas will not be entitled to vote and cannot draw their salaries. 

by Prema Sridevi 

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