The article “Of politicians and some verdicts” by N. Gopalaswami (July 24) provided an insight into the recent Supreme Court verdicts concerning politicians. The misconstrued opinion about the court’s 2005 judgment was also neatly highlighted.
The problem with politicians, however, is that they and their leaders are not interested in any type of regulation. They are least bothered about criminalisation as they depend solely on the winnability factor. As long as the elections are fraught with muscle and money power and people remain mute spectators, political parties will not even think of providing better governance and maintaining integrity.
The court verdict that once convicted, an MP or MLA will be disqualified and remain thus even if the court acquits him or her on appeal is unfair. Everyone has the right to appeal, which is a suit for justice. Until justice is done by the High Court or the Supreme Court, a legislator should be allowed to continue or be suspended depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Laws should be a blend of rigidity and flexibility.
The Supreme Court’s landmark verdicts declaring Section 8(4) of the RPA Act unconstitutional and disqualifying candidates in lawful custody from contesting elections are significant steps towards decriminalising Parliament and State Assemblies but are not enough to run the government efficiently. The only way to improve governance is to usher in a “renaissance” in moral values and promote rational thinking. This will bolster the fundamentals of democracy.