SC reserves order on disqualification of lawmakers with criminal past

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NEW DELHI, August 28: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers even before their conviction in criminal cases to curb criminalisation of politics in the country.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra reserved the judgement after the parties including the Election Commission and the Central government concluded their arguments on the clutch of petitions.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, lauded the intention of the apex court to cleanse the political system but put a caveat saying judiciary cannot venture into the lawmaking territory.
“The intention of the lordships is laudable. But the question is whether the court can do it. The answer is ‘no’,” the top-most law officer told the bench which also comprised justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
He also referred to the concept of presumption of innocence until a person is proven guilty and said the court cannot put a condition on a person’s right to vote which also includes his right to contest.
The bench said that it did not intend to enter into the legislative domain but there was a right of electors to know the antecedent of a candidate. (PTI)