New Delhi: SC to hear PIL seeking to ban convicts from forming, running political parties

New Delhi: SC to hear PIL seeking to ban convicts from forming, running political parties

"What is the urgency? This can wait. This can come in the first week of May," the bench said.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 09:48 PM IST
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Supreme Court of India | File Photo

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would hear in the first week of May a PIL seeking to restrain convicted persons from forming political parties and becoming their office-bearers for the period they are disqualified under election laws.

A bench of justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna deferred the matter after lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay mentioned it saying it be heard on April 5 or 6 as it was unlikely to be heard during the day. "What is the urgency? This can wait. This can come in the first week of May," the bench said.

Petition sought banning convicts from forming a political party

The bench was hearing a 2017 PIL filed by Upadhyay who said convicted politicians, who are barred from contesting elections, can still run political parties and hold posts in them, besides deciding as to who will become a lawmaker. The petition sought a ban on convicted persons from forming a political party and becoming office bearers for the period they are disqualified under the election laws.

Petition seeking direction to EC decriminalising electoral system

It also sought a direction to declare section 29A of the Representation of the People Act as "arbitrary, irrational and ultra-vires" to the Constitution and to authorise the poll panel to register and de-register political. The plea further sought a direction to the Election Commission to frame guidelines to decriminalise the electoral system and ensure inner party democracy, as proposed by the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution (NCRWC).

The petition said currently, even a person who has been convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, money laundering, loot, sedition, or dacoity, can form a political party and become its president or office bearers.

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