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Updated: November 20, 2013 09:41 IST

Jailed persons can contest polls

J. Venkatesan
Comment (18)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave a big relief to political parties.
The Hindu The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave a big relief to political parties.

As Supreme Court accepts amended RP Act

Taking note of the amendment made to the Representation of the People Act treating persons in lawful custody in a criminal case as a voter, the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave a big relief to political parties by allowing them to contest elections.

A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and S. J. Mukhopadhaya dismissed the review petitions filed by the Union government and Ramesh Dalal against a July 10 judgment upholding a 2004 Patna High Court ruling, which held that when a person in custody was disqualified to vote he was disqualified from contesting the elections also.

Section 62 (5) of the RP Act says, “No person shall vote at any election if he/she is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police: Provided that nothing in this sub- section shall apply to a person subjected to preventive detention under any law for the time being in force.”

Subsequent to the July 10 judgment, Parliament amended the RP Act and introduced a proviso to Section 62 (5) in the RP (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2013, which says “... by reasons of the prohibition to vote under this sub-section, a person whose name has been entered in the electoral roll shall not cease to be an elector.”

The notification said “notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree or order of any court, tribunal or other authority, the provisions of the RP Act, 1951, as amended by this Act, shall have and shall be deemed always to have effect for all purposes as if the provisions of this Act had been in force at all material times.”

On Tuesday, during the resumed hearing, Solicitor General L. Nageswara Rao and counsel V.K. Biju, appearing for the Centre, submitted that nothing survived in the petition in view of the amendments to the RP Act.

Accepting the submissions, the Bench dismissed the review petitions as not necessary.

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The title... no, the whole article is confusing. As far as I understand, it was that the people in preventive detention were allowed to contest (meaning people just thrown into jails without any reason whatsoever, except the vague opinion of police officer that they are disturbing order).
The people convicted and in jail can not still contest the elections.

from:  raman
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 20:21 IST

The report is confusing. Does it mean Lalu can contest from Jail and
vote for congress.

from:  kasthuri rangan
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 18:25 IST

Wats the concept of allowing convicted to contest polls , then disqualifying them after they come up with multicrore scams , a total waste of crores of public money ... while millions waiting for justice ...
allowing them to contest polls is like giving them opportunities for more scams & curroptions ....

from:  Rupa Suresh Solanki
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 14:27 IST

The amendment to RP Act is laudable. But at the same time it would be much helpful for the general public and whole nation if Hon Court directs to conclude all cases within a specified time period. otherwise, the same accused persons can contest in the next elections one after the other.At last there will be a stage they do not bother about the final verdict of the case because of the amass wealth they had during the course of time

from:  Samson Varghese
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 12:49 IST

The relaxation given by the Supreme Court to the jailed persons
reflects the provisions available in the criminal procedure code could
be abused by the investigating agencies in our country. Any missing
provision of transparency and accountability including in our judiciary
in our democratic institutions may result in exceptional clause. This
clause may be chances of misuse by mighty. Then equality in India may
perish for ever.

from:  P ANNADURAI
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 12:06 IST

This is so contradictory. A person is jailed so that they cannot move
around freely in society but then they are allowed to represent others.
This will allow criminals to come to power and use criminal means to
retain it.

from:  arvind
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 10:45 IST

So SC now says Criminals can contest elections and become MP? Is it not contradicting their statement before that criminal MPS to be disqualified?

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 09:57 IST

How ridiculous is these amendments and then the judgement? When in a
day to day life, a person who has been imprisoned is not accepted at
work, or be accepted into a school or even for that matter his own
family functions, why should the country at large require these few
people ? What is that they contribute to the country? Just for these
handful of people, a law is created and a SC panel discusses the
same.. What a pity, What a waste of time and resources!

Jai Hind.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 09:46 IST

In a previous judgement the Supreme Court ordered that If an elected person is convicted for a 3+ year jail term he will lose the Membership of the House; this new judgement says a jailed person can contest elections.

I am confused how it could be possible!!!

from:  Prabhakaran K
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 09:33 IST

Another nail in coffin of democracy.

from:  vishal Roy
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 09:24 IST

God can only save us.

from:  amit
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 08:29 IST

It is disappointing and not a good move for the largest democracy on
earth.Politicians fight among themselves when they have to take care of
the citizens, but join together when they have to take care of
themselves.

from:  A V RAMANATHAN
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 08:06 IST

A very sad day for Indian Democracy! How are people who are convicted
allowed to contest? Shows once again that the judicial system is putty
in the hands of politicians who want to stay in the lucrative
'business' of politics. Mera Bharat Mahaan indeed!

from:  Alexander Mathew
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 07:58 IST

Subsequent to the July 10 judgment, Parliament amended the RP Act and
introduced a proviso to Section 62 (5) in the RP (Amendment and
Validation) Act, 2013, which says “... by reasons of the prohibition to
vote under this sub-section, a person whose name has been entered in the
electoral roll shall not cease to be an elector.”


CRAP!!!! How can such amendment be allowed to pass in the first place?
How can someone in prison lose his rights to vote but he/she is allowed
to contest elections? This is blatant misuse of powers given to
Parliamentarians.

from:  Pawan
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 07:32 IST

Its a pity that we dont have a party that can simply disqualify any person who has been caught and jailed on a criminal activity. Its sad that our country's citizen will elect people who are known criminals.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 05:38 IST

crazy !!!

from:  hemi
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 03:08 IST

A person jailed but not yet convicted can file an application for contest and once convicted, he will be removed from the post/list as well.If u take this ,there are many politicians who are convicted and continue to hold post which is unfortunate.The supreme court must make a ruling that all convicts or to be convicts cannot file for election till their names are cleared in full by the election commissioner.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 02:28 IST

Preventing people in jail from contesting is such a broken attempt to
fix things. Why do people in jail win elections? Is it because people
don't know any better? That does not explain anything. IMO its because
parties represent popular brands and people get a popular party's ticket
has a big upper hand in the elections. This is the very definition of
'power'. Breaking up parties must the way to proceed. For example, force
parties to have internal elections for tickets

from:  emc
Posted on: Nov 20, 2013 at 01:54 IST
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