Source: 
Live Mint
Date: 
25.07.2014
City: 
New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Bloomberg New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the law and home ministries to devise a way of dealing quickly with cases against Parliamentarians and state legislators so as to punish those who are guilty and acquit those who have been wrongly charged at the earliest. Modi had promised to do this during his campaign. According to senior officials in the law ministry, Modi believes the lengthy legal process followed by courts in India should not be used by MPs and state legislative assemblies to their advantage. On his instructions, the two ministries have asked states and Union territories for details about local legislators who are facing cases. According to activist group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 53 MPs have criminal cases against them and they could face disqualification if they are convicted in these cases. Of these, 24 are Parliamentarians from the Bharatiya Janata Party and five from the Shiv Sena, a long-time ally of the former. In March this year, the Supreme Court ruled that Parliamentarians or state legislators convicted by any court would be immediately disqualified. Jagdeep Chhokar, founding member of ADR and former professor of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad said he appreciated the move by Modi. “Modi has spoken about this issue in Parliament (and said) that he will make Parliament taint-free,” he recalled. The law ministry officials said that as a first step, the government would try to build a consensus with all political parties on the issue. The officials didn’t want to be named. In his election campaign, Modi had said that he would transfer all cases involving MPs and state assemblies to the Supreme Court and request it to rule on them within a year.

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