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Houses seek law ministry view on convicted MPs

Statesman News Service |

press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 6 OCT: Both Houses of Parliament are awaiting advice from the Law Ministry as to the process to be adopted in dealing with the cases of MPs Lalu Prasad and Jagdish Sharma, both of whom stand to lose their memberships after being convicted in the fodder scam.
Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati has made it clear that following a Supreme Court ruling, convicted MPs and MLAs stand disqualified immediately upon conviction, but was silent on the process to be followed.
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have sought suggestions from the Law Ministry on the procedure to be adopted for the disqualification of the convicted MPs. The Law Ministry is yet to send its opinion on the matter, sources said.
In its 10 July judgement, the Supreme Court had struck down a provision in the electoral law which protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the grounds of pendency of an appeal in a higher court.
The Lok Sabha secretariat had sought the Attorney General’s opinion following the conviction of Prasad, the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, while the Rajya Sabha has made a similar request in connection with JD-U MP Sharma. The two MPs, who have been sentenced to more than two years in jail, stand to lose their parliamentary seats after the government withdrew a Bill and a subsequent Ordinance seeking to protect convicted lawmakers from immediate disqualification from the membership of legislative bodies.
The Union Cabinet move to withdraw the Ordinance came after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi described it as a piece of “nonsense” which should be “torn up and thrown away”.