The Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday took on BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who had requested the President not to sign the ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers, saying that constitutionality of legal enactments could be decided by courts and not by the opposition party.
In a post which he addressed to the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Mr. Tewari said that “the constitutionality or otherwise of legal enactments are tested in constitutional courts and not in the BJP’s moat.”
“Unsolicited advice is neither appreciated nor taken seriously. These are the first principles of the legal profession. Advice of Leader of Opposition amusing, surprising,” he said.
Ms. Swaraj had said in a tweet that her party was opposed to the ordinance approved by the Union Cabinet on convicted lawyers.
“We request the President not to sign this ordinance. The President is not obliged to sign an ordinance that is unconstitutional,” Ms. Swaraj had said.
The Supreme Court had on July 10 ruled that an MP, an MLA or an MLC would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more. The government had moved the apex court for a review earlier this month which was rejected.
The ordinance to undo the court’s verdict was brought after the government failed to get a Bill to this effect passed in Parliament during the Monsoon Session.