Congress was not in “defensive mode,” but working in “consultative mode” over Supreme Court’s judgment on disqualifying lawmakers convicted by a court for two years or more, party leader P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday.
“We are not in defensive mode. We are in consultative mode, consulting within our party, consulting with other political parties as these are legal issues,” the Union Finance Minister said while replying to a question during a press conference in Jaipur.
Asked whether the government was planning to go to court on the issue, he said, “I have a personal opinion on it. No decision has been taken so far. We are talking about sub-section (4) of section 8 of the (RP) act, and other acts of Constitution...consulting jurists, consulting other political parties.”
In a landmark judgement that could cleanse Parliament and Assemblies of criminals, the Supreme Court had on July 10, struck down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts.
The apex court had also made it clear that MPs, MLAs and MLCs would stand disqualified on the date of conviction.
The court had said Parliament has exceeded its powers by enacting the provision (Section 8(4) of the Representation of Peoples Act) that gives a convicted lawmaker the power to remain in office on the ground that appeals have been filed and pending.