The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to expedite the trial of Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly against whom cases of serious offences are pending as it will provide a filter against motivated charge-sheets. .

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, in a statement said the decision will also offer a solution to the long-pending dilemma of whether under-trial MPs and MLAs can contest.

“Criminalisation of politics has been a very serious issue for the Indian polity and the Election Commission and the Law Commission have been suggesting that any person against whom charges have been framed in a certain category of offences will not be eligible to be fielded as a candidate, whereas the Constitution and the Representation of Peoples Act debar convicted persons from becoming candidates there is no embargo on charge-sheeted politicians,” he said, adding, “ This creates a disconnect between the legal requirement and public opinion.”

Mr. Jaitely said even as political parties have been unable to resolve this contentious issue, the Supreme Court's decision, which respects the principle that a person is presumed to be innocent till held guilty, will offer a solution.

“...At the same time no politician, MP or MLA, has a right to a delayed trial. Since he holds a public office he must like Caesar’s wife be beyond suspicion. His trial must be expeditious and be conducted on a day-to-day basis. The trial should ordinarily be completed within one year except there are exceptional reasons that it cannot be possible,” Mr. Jaitely said.

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