A person in the police custody can also contest for the elections now. The amendment made by the Government in the Representation of People's Act (RPA) is approved by the Supreme Court on Tuesday that gives relief to political leaders.
Law making is a tricky thing. A small gap may give a chance to the criminals to get away or an innocent to get deprived of his rights.
Previously Supreme Court of India while disqualifying the convicted people’s representatives from holding the Membership of the Parliament and Assembly proclaimed that the persons in the jail or in the police custody are also disqualified from contesting elections. It is amended and now the persons in the jail can contest elections unless they are convicted for the crime for which they are jailed. The custody of police on preventive arrests was exempted from it.
The bench of justices AK Patnaik and SJ Mukhopadhaya said “The only question is about the vires of section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) and we hold that it is ultra vires and that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction”.
The main objection came from the political parties is that a wrongful detention on a false accusation also can make one disqualified from contesting elections as per the rule before the amendment. Now, that lacuna is made good by making the amendment that disqualification applies from the date of conviction.
Now this amendment makes YS Jagan free to contest in the elections till he is convicted. As Jagan has been charge sheeted by CBI in the Disproportionate Assets case, jailed for 16 months and out on conditional bail he was standing a chance of disqualification as per the previous ruling of Supreme Court. But now for the relief of Jagan, disqualification starts only after conviction but not on the imprisonment while the case is going on in the Court.