MPs with criminal cases

It may be a bit too much to expect our Parliament to enact a “strong law” to prevent politicians facing trial for serious crimes from contesting elections, with 43% of parliamentarians facing criminal cases and 29% facing serious criminal cases (Front page, “Aspirants with criminal past should not get ticket, EC tells SC,” Jan. 25). Instead, the Supreme Court by itself should take up the task of laying down guidelines. There have been several precedents. For instance, the apex court’s verdict in Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (1997), in the absence of legislation, provided an overarching framework in dealing with cases of sexual harassment at workplace.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,


While the helplessness of the Election Commission in failing to stop criminalisation of politics is understandable, its proposition to the apex court to ask political parties not to give tickets to those with criminal antecedents is rather surprising. Undoubtedly, the court’s request to the petitioners themselves to come up with a ‘joint proposal’ is welcome. However, one fails to understand how and whether such proposals can ever be implemented without a statute, enacting which is Parliament’s prerogative. There are several stinging judgments that have been treated with scant respect by all political parties. It will require great magnanimity on the part of our parties to cleanse themselves.

B. Harish,

Mavelikara, Kerala

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:54:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/mps-with-criminal-cases/article30661220.ece

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