Apex court dismisses plea against tainted MPs

August 12th, 2011 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a petition seeking direction to the government to recommend to the president to suspend 154 members of Lok Sabha facing criminal charges or against whom FIRs have been lodged.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S.Panicker Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar told the PIL petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma that the court had no powers to issue such directions to the Union of India.

Even as PIL petitioner pressed for the direction, the Chief Justice Kapadia said, “You are asking that Union of India should invite (action) by the President on our direction.”

Chief Justice Kapadia went to say “there is separation of power (under the constitution). We have no authority to pass such a direction.”

When PIL petitioner Sharma asked then who will refer the question to the President, the court dismissed the petition saying , “We can’t direct. We don’t have the authority.”

The advocate petitioner Sharma said that after the enactment of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) in 1988, all those who are drawing salaries from the public exchequer were defined as public servants.

He said that by that measure all the members of parliament, state legislatures, local bodies like municipal corporation and gram panchayats came in the ambit of PCA.

The petitioner advocate said that out of 154 MPs, 72 are facing serious charges. He told the court that BJP was on the top of the list with its 42 MPs facing criminal charges and Congress having just one short at 41 facing the criminal charges.

The petition said that country’s top most tax evader Hasan Ali too had recently disclosed the names of several ministers and MPs involved with him in hawala transactions.

The court was told that there was no law that prohibited these people from contesting elections. As a consequence, with every election the representative bodies were becoming “dens of criminals and democracy was in danger”.

The petitioner said that the rule of suspension under the PCA should apply to all across the board including the elected representatives.

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