Law panel favours disqualification upon framing of charges

BureauUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2019, 03:09 PM IST
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New Delhi: The Law Commission has favoured disqualification of a candidate on framing of charges by a court, saying it has significant potential to check criminals entering the poll arena and dubbed disqualification upon conviction as “incapable” of curbing criminals in politics.

The Commission has also recommended enhanced sentence of at least two years for those who file false affidavits and make it as a “corrupt practice” under Representation of the People Act.

In a report submitted to the Supreme Court on disqualification of candidates and filing of false affidavits, the Law Commission has said “disqualification upon conviction has proved to be incapable of curbing the growing criminalisation of politics, owing to long delays in trials and rare convictions.

“The law needs to evolve to pose an effective deterrence and to prevent subversion of the process of justice.”

The panel’s report on the two issues of electoral reforms came up before the apex court today.

The Commission said the stage of framing of charges (for an offence punishable by at least five years imprisonment) is based on “adequate levels of judicial scrutiny” and disqualification at the stage of charging, if accompanied by substantial attendant legal safeguards to prevent misuse, has “significant potential” in curbing the spread of criminalisation of politics.

The filing of the police report under Section 173 of CrPC is “not an appropriate stage” to introduce electoral disqualifications due to “lack of sufficient application of judicial mind at this stage,” the law panel said.

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