Reforms in the Representation of People’s Act is necessary to prevent criminalization of politics in India. Analyze.

The constitution of India contains detailed provisions for the enacting laws related to elections by the legislature. Hence, Parliament has enacted RPA, 1950 and RPA, 1951.

Challenges associated with current RPAs:

  • The language in the laws is vague and mechanisms are very limited.
  • Inefficiency of the judiciary and legal loopholes have further compounded the problems.
  • While people convicted for jail term more than 2 years are banned until 6 years after their release, many opine that it is very lenient.
  • People convicted for Sati, dowry, untouchability cannot contest.
  • As per PRS, over 65% of Mps/MLAs have criminal charges against them, such as Rape, Murder, etc. Further, many cases have not yet reached trail stage.
  • In 2013, parliament added provisions to Article 102 & Article 191 that allowed a ‘convicted’ MP/MLA to continue as members for 3 additional months. However, in the Lily Thomas versus Union of India case, the Supreme Court found it to ultravires of the constitution.

Conclusion:

Thus, we need special courts to hear cases & ensure that politicians are debarred at charge framing stage with approval of court. The need of the hour is to pass a strong law by the parliament to prevent entry of criminal elements into the politics.

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