26th September,2013.Delhi: Just a day after Cabinet passed an ordinance to protect convicted legislators from disqualification, Aam Aadmi Party declared on Wednesday that it will challenge the ordinance in Supreme Court through a PIL.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said, "I have written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee to give us an audience before signing the ordinance. The Supreme Court order had declared Section 8 (4) of the Representation of Peoples Act as unconstitutional. How can the government pass an ordinance to bring back the same section?"
Aam Aaddmi Party is the only Party which refused to give tickets to contaminated candidates and challenged other parties to not to field tainted candidates.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders is scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday to voice the party's opposition to the ordinance. The BJP will urge the President not to sign the ordinance.
The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday cleared an ordinance which allows convicted and jailed MPs and MLAs to contest elections. The ordinance is a reversal of the Supreme Court judgment that had not only disqualified lawmakers convicted of offences with 2 years or more in jail but also barred from contesting elections.
The ordinance will allow convicted legislators to continue in office, if the appeal against the conviction is admitted by a higher court within 90 days. The ordinance says that if a lawmaker appeals his conviction or the sentence is stayed by a higher court, he can attend Parliament/ state Assemblies but cannot draw salaries or vote.
The Bill tabled in the Rajya Sabha that allows convicted legislators to continue in office has been referred to the standing committee.
In a landmark ruling the Supreme Court had on July 10, 2013 struck down the legal provision that protects a lawmaker from disqualification even after conviction in a criminal case.
The Supreme Court ruled that MPs or MLAs shall stand disqualified from holding the membership of the house from the date of conviction in a trial court.
The court held Section 8(4) of the Representation of the Peoples Act as ultra vires. The section allows a convicted lawmaker to remain in office till the pendency of appeal.