The Representation of People Act amendment bill 2013
This write up deals with recently amended Representation of People (RP) Act. This article provides detailed information regarding the judgments led to the amendment and discussed the present situation prevailed in political parties.
Context of Representation of People Act amendment
Supreme Court of India has given judgment that a detained person should not file nomination in elections. Adding to that second judgment was given that a person who is detained and jailed for more than two years automatically loses his seat and should not contest in elections. This situation has invited the amendment to RP act.
Facts of our democracy
It is said that it is good to become a politician to avoid your punishment. Many criminals are entering into political field. They are emerging as winners by hook or crook. They are pampering with arrack or coercing to vote for them. This is leading to politicization of criminals or criminalization of politics. This has become order of the day. It is known that 15-20% of members of parliament have criminal records. In Uttar Pradesh Assembly, many politicians are criminals. In Bihar also the same situation prevails. It is known fact that an MP has fourteen murder charges on him and still he is with his political clout. This may endanger democracy. Hence Supreme Court of India has taken awestruck decision to cleanse the political system.
The philosophy behind the SC judgment on RP act
A detained person is barred of his personal life, his occupation, his income and etc. He is made sit in cell and not available for anyone. But politicians who are in jail are not binding to this. They are carried on with their stint as politicians and and even as ministers if possible. Thus, SC had concluded that it is against to article 14 which says all are equal before law. But, this does not satisfy the philosophy of SC if politician is still with his stint in jail. Other countries examples also might have inspired the judiciary that a minister is suspended and debarred from contesting elections on charges of peeping. However the case, it has tasted bitter to the politicians which prompted them to carry on with amendment.
Criticism on SC judgment
After the judgment of not giving chance for detained to file nominations as well as debarring from elections after two years of jail brought tremors in the hearts of politicians that it may be fatal to them if they agree to it. In their words, it is jeopardizing the people representative as party in power may misuse the power and can detain any person to make him disqualify him not letting him file a nomination. Thus political game can be worsened and can mar the future of democracy. The police will play spoil sport if they begin to obey orders of party in power. Political vendetta is also prevalent in present Indian party system. Those persons who have come out of party are harassed by party in power. This can wreak havoc if these norms are legalized. In recent days, we have seen few politicians are jailed as they have left the party and set up other party.
Amendment done to the act
After the SC judgment it is decided that there should be an amendment allowing a person to file a nomination even he is detained. Such facility is provided through law. It is said that politicians are not generally criminals. They are to support democracy but not to demolish. But, this judgment may alter the happy course if it begins to be operational. Hence, it allowed to secure seat and provided security to them.
Political parties have to take care when they select their candidates. It is their responsibility to put clean candidates before people. They have to find out the history of them and do not let enter Robin Hood type personalities as they devour more and dole out in less to gain political access and escape the punishments. The people also should not resort to the temporary gains and should elect responsible candidates who can stand up to the benefit of his people.
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