The Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2013, cleared by the Union Cabinet to overturn the Supreme Court judgment mandating the disqualification of legislators immediately upon conviction (“Not above the law,” Sept. 26), is a brazen and deliberate legislative over-reach.
Our lawmakers derive their power from ordinary citizens. How can they be different from and superior to those who vote for them? Lawmakers cannot be law-breakers. The Congress is committing blunder after blunder. Thanks to the ordinance, we can expect more criminals to occupy the corridors of power — more than the existing 14 per cent of legislators.
Rather than treating the Supreme Court verdict as an opportunity to reform the political system, the UPA government has used its favourite tool — ordinance — to shield MPs facing criminal charges.
When a conviction can disqualify well qualified and competent government employees, why should their counterparts in governance be given special treatment? It is for voters — those who have the ultimate power in a democracy — to keep such representatives out of power.
The political class is ever ready to join hands to protect its common interests, irrespective of differences. The ordinance is another classic example.
A code of ethics along with the amendments should be introduced before making them into law.
Ramesh Raj Katta,
India is possibly the first country in the world to pass an ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs. The move is so brazen that the present and future generations of law-abiding citizens will have to live in shame. What will be the future of a country where convicted political leaders may possibly be re-elected as lawmakers?
The UPA government’s move is unscrupulous. It has adopted the ordinance route to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision. With more than 14 per cent sitting MPs and MLAs across parties having criminal charges against them, it is hardly surprising that the ordinance has not met with significant opposition from political circles.
T. Arun Chandran,
The ordinance makes a mockery of democracy. The UPA government has cleared it to protect those with whom it thinks it may have a pre- or post-poll alliance.
People should defeat the ordinance by not electing anyone who has a criminal record.
There can be no doubt that the ordinance creates two sets of people. It is unfortunate that our politicians have almost succeeded in giving a back door entry to a bill that faced opposition in Parliament.
The ordinance is an effort to save criminal lawmakers from the arms of the law. Our politicians did not feel a similar sense of urgency in creating a strong anti-corruption body or giving autonomy to the CBI.
What can the common man do except express anguish? Perhaps it is time we realised that leaders who represent us have not come out of the blue; we have sent them to the legislature. Is it not time to introspect before pointing a finger at the government?
Chavali Indra Reddy,
Keywords: Representation of the People Ordinance