Terming the Supreme Court’s recent judgment to keep convicted political leaders out of power and election process as a landmark one, senior CPI leader and former Editor of Visalandhra C. Raghavachari is quick to point out that the ruling comes with a few loopholes.
Addressing a seminar on the judgment organised by the AIYF here on Saturday, he said, “The Apex Court’s judgment can be termed as historic, as it would certainly dent the spirit of politicians who believe in wining elections using money and muscle power. But, at the same time, the judgment does not give clarity on the status of politicians who want to contest and those who already won the election. There is no clear cut definition differentiating the categories. Legislation classification is possible, but class legislation is not possible,” he added.
He also pointed out that the court was not very clear with regard to the status of persons in lawful custody.
“As per the judgment, persons in lawful custody cannot cast their vote as well as contest in elections. This provision can be misused, especially by the Ruling party. Even political leaders can be taken into custody for political agitation and as per the provision he or she can be disqualified. There should be clear demarcation of sections and crime committed,” he said.
Being a bit critical, the former Editor said, “Judicial activism is good, but it should not extend to judicial overreach. The idea of reforming the electoral system is fine, but it should be subject to certain conditions.”
Mr. Raghavachari also pointed out that the role of the Election Commission should not be just limited to checking the spending of the leaders in elections, but should go beyond to ascertain how the leaders amassed such huge wealth.
“The commission should rope in other departments such as Income Tax and enforcement authorities to dig into the matter,” he said.
Earlier, inaugurating the new office of the AIYF at Gandhinagar, he said, “Youth comprise one-third of the total population of the country, and organisations such as the AIYF should play a major role in the country’s political fabric.” CPI city secretary D. Shankar and AIYF State president N. Sambasiva Rao spoke.