Disagreeing with the Supreme Court ruling regarding disqualification of convicted lawmakers, former Lok Sabha Speaker and veteran Parliamentarian Somnath Chatterjee said here on Friday that it was for the people to decide whether Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s opposition to a proposed ordinance in this regard was good or bad.
“Rahul Gandhi has given his own opinion… He has spoken as a party leader,” he told journalists.
“If a sitting MP or MLA, once convicted by a magistrate and is disqualified automatically and loses his seat, then I cannot agree to it. One should be given the chance to file an appeal. Why is there the system of appellate courts then?” he asked, pointing out that judgments of a lower court are liable to be changed by a higher court.
“Civilised jurisprudence connotes giving proper opportunity to a citizen of India who may be subjected to a wrong judicial determination,” Mr. Chatterjee said, adding that one cannot deny the right to appeal further.
“Somehow I cannot get infatuated by the theoretical excellence of the Supreme Court’s decisions,” he said.
Commenting elsewhere on another ruling of the Supreme Court in the day directing the Election Commission to provide a button in voting machines to allow voters to reject all candidates contesting an election, Mr. Chatterjee said “he is unable to find reasons in it”.
“I do not think Supreme Court has any authority to make laws. It is entirely for law makers to decide what will be on the EVM machine,” he told journalists on the sidelines of an event.