Convicted Lawmakers Need Not Be Automatically Disqualified From Legislature: Centre Tells SC

The Centre said convicted MPs or MLAs need not be automatically disqualified from parliament or state legislatures since they can appeal convictions.

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that convicted lawmakers need not be automatically disqualified from parliament or state legislatures as they have the right to move an appellate court to stay such a verdict.

A number of lawmakers had been asked to vacate their seats after the Supreme Court ruled in the Lily Thomas vs. Union of India case that a convicted lawmaker automatically stood disqualified. The NDA government, despite this ruling, said that a legislator could approach a court to stay a conviction and remain in their post, the Telegraph reported.

Some convicted legislators from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have continued in their posts despite convictions, which was brought to the apex court’s notice by NGO Lok Prahari, the Economic Times reported. In response, the government, in an affidavit submitted by the law and justice ministry, said that lawmakers need not give up their seats as soon as they are convicted in a criminal case.

The Centre sought the dismissal of the petition and said, “There is no violation of any of the fundamental rights or legal rights of the petitioner and the petition is liable to be dismissed. The petitioner seeks relief which is not based on any fundamental and constitutional right,” reported the Telegraph.