Petitioner urges Supreme Court to declare ordinance arbitrary and mala fide

The Centre’s move to promulgate the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) ordinance has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

In a public interest writ petition, advocate Manohar Lal Sharma referred to the Union Cabinet’s nod on Tuesday for promulgating the ordinance and said it was being done with the sole object of nullifying the July 10 Supreme Court judgment which put an end to criminalisation of politics.

The apex court had held that charge-sheeted MPs and MLAs, on conviction for the offences, would be immediately disqualified from holding the membership of the House without being given three months’ time for appeal.

The court struck down as unconstitutional Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act that allowed convicted lawmakers a three-month period for filing an appeal at the higher court and getting a stay of the conviction and the sentence.

Mr. Sharma has urged the court to declare the proposed ordinance  “arbitrary and mala fide” and against the basic structure of the Constitution. He asked: “Whether Article 123 could be invoked to take the ordinance route to serve the political and vested interests of the political parties.” The petitioner said the ordinance route was being misused by the government for political gains.

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