The CJI reportedly told attorney general KK Venugopal that under the Constitution, the government was obligated to formulate a law that stops criminals from contesting elections
People with criminal antecedents becoming members of Parliament and state assemblies is a problem that should not be ignored by the legislature, the Supreme Court told the Centre on Thursday.
It is the duty of the legislature to respond to the outcry of the citizens of this country who do not want people with criminal backgrounds to contest elections, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
The CJI reportedly told attorney general KK Venugopal that under the Constitution, the government was obligated to formulate a law that stops criminals from contesting elections.
"Corruption is a noun but becomes a verb when it enters the political arena. It is infective and resistant to antibiotics," CJI Misra was quoted as saying by the paper.
The Supreme Court is hearing a clutch of petitions demanding disqualification of MPs and MLAs facing criminal charges.
In a previous judgement, the SC had ordered that if an elected representative is convicted in a criminal case and is sentenced to a jail term of three years or more, he or she will be debarred from continuing as a member of the House.
In the ongoing court proceedings, however, it is being argued that disqualification should take place once the police submits its charge sheet against a lawmaker.
The top court was not certain if it could add disqualifications in the Representation of People's Act, 1951, for candidates to contest elections, as it fell in the domain of Parliament and there was a law already in place.The court observed that guidelines issued in cases such as Vishakha or euthanasia were done because the fields were unoccupied by any law.