New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would examine whether lifetime ban could be imposed on convicted persons from contesting Assembly or Parliamentary elections polls and whether such a ban would violate Article 14 of the Constitution.
A Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha is hearing a batch of petitions filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashiwini Kumar Upadhyay and others seeking a permanent bar on convicted persons from contesting polls. The petitioners also wanted special courts to be set up in each State to dispose of these cases within one year.
Senior counsel Dinesh Diwedi for one of the petitioners argued that if criminals were not barred for life from contesting elections then people like Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who was convicted for rape would become ministers.
To protect democracy and the institution of Legislature and Parliament, such a thing should not happen as otherwise, convicted criminals would become lawmakers.
It was also pleaded that court should issue a direction to the Centre and the EC to take necessary steps to debar persons convicted in criminal cases from contesting elections, forming a political party and becoming office-bearers of any party.
Mr. Upadhyay referred to the counter affidavit filed by the Election Commission supporting such a lifetime ban.
Senior counsel Krishnan Venugopal, said in the Executive and Judiciary, when a person is convicted for any criminal offence, he/she is suspended automatically and debarred from his services for life.
However, this rule is applied differently in case of convicted person in a legislature....