M A I N   N E W S

Lawmakers not working against judiciary: Sibal
Amarjit Thind & Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Bathinda/Chandigarh, Sept 25
Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal today said the lawmakers of the country were not working at “cross purposes” with the judiciary, while referring to the ordinance issued to protect lawmakers upon conviction.

He said the ordinance did not negate the Supreme Court ruling regarding the disqualification of convicted MLAs. The move was, rather, aimed at taking away “full protection” granted to them by the Supreme Court.

Sibal said under the Supreme Court judgment, the disqualification of a sitting Member of Parliament, convicted and sentenced to a jail term of two or more years, came to an end with a stay on the orders of his conviction. But under the ordinance, he remained disqualified even if the orders of his conviction and sentence were stayed.

Sibal, while addressing lawyers at the District Bar Association in Bathinda, said: “We have not violated the court order. We have gone beyond it. Our ordinance says even if a convicted MP/MLA appeals against his conviction and is granted relief by court during the stipulated 90 days, he/she will still remain disqualified.

“While the SC had in its judgment held that a lawmaker would not be disqualified if he was granted relief by court, the ordinance holds that the disqualification will continue despite the relief,” he explained.

The ordinance stipulates that the disqualified member can attend the proceedings of the House but will neither be able to vote in the House nor claim any emoluments/allowances/ salary, he said.

The Law Minister lashed out at the media for spreading “misinformation” and not even bothering to go through the content of the ordinance.

“It is sad that no one reads anymore or bothers to go into the nuances of the Constitution or the Bills/ordinances passed in the country,” he said. He further targeted the Opposition for labelling the government as thief or corrupt, which had dented the country’s image abroad and prompted foreign investors to shy away. On the collegium issue, the Law Minister said the move was aimed at checking nepotism in the judiciary and the culture of “uncle judges”. There was a need to correct this anomaly in the justice delivery system to restore the faith of the people in the judiciary, he said. Taking a dig at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Sibal said while the former wanted to turn India into Gujarat, they were committed to turning Gujarat into India.

He also took a swipe at Sushma Swaraj saying she needed to read the Constitution and go by its spirit and not disrupt the proceedings of the House for the sake of obstruction only.

“I was not expecting this from Sushma Swaraj believing she has read the law and have knowledge of the same but it is really strange she is criticising the ordinance without any basis,” he said.

During the inauguration of a new Bar complex at the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh, Sibal expressed his inclination for a special law for dealing with the issue of honour killings.





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