Parliament, not us, can bar
tainted netas from contesting polls: SC
Times of India,
February 19, 2015
The Supreme Court on
Wednesday said the judiciary could not restrain tainted people
from contesting elections as it could not enter the domain of
the legislature, which alone was competent to enact a law on
A bench headed by
Chief Justice H L Dattu said the idea of restraining people
against whom a court had framed charges for committing heinous
offences looked very "attractive and noble" but the court had
its limitation and it could not pass such an order.
"In the name of
judicial activism, we cannot enter into an area belonging to
Parliament. Separation of power is a basic structure of
Constitution and we must respect it," the bench, also comprising
Justices A K Sikri and Arun Mishra, said.
"It is for
Parliament to decide. They know how to run the country and who
should run for election. We should not step in," it added.
general Maninder Singh said the issue had already been settled
by a constitution bench judgment of the apex court, which had
refused to restrain the government from appointing tainted MPs
and MLAs as ministers and left the matter to the conscience of
the prime minister and chief ministers.
Agreeing with the
ASG's submission, the bench said when the constitution bench had
refused to pass an order against appointment of tainted
representatives in the council of ministers, how it could pass
an order preventing tainted persons from contesting elections.
The bench also said
that in criminal jurisprudence, a person was presumed innocent
till he was convicted and his right to contest elections could
not be curtailed just because charges were framed against him.
Dinesh Dwivedi, appearing for an NGO which had sought a ban on
tainted people contesting elections, said the court could issue
guidelines to stop growing criminalization of politics.
"You are right and
it is the ideal situation. At first thought, it looks a very
attractive and noble thought but on deeper consideration, we
feel that we should not interfere and Parliament should take a
call on it," the court said. The arguments will continue on
This news can also be viewed at: