Delhi HC to hear PIL seeking life-time ban on convicts from contesting elections

A PIL heard yesterday by the Delhi High Court has sought to disallow persons convicted of an offence from contesting elections.

The PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, challenges Section 8 and 9 of the Representation of People Act 1951 which allows for a convicted individual to contest polls after the disqualification period of six years.

While stating that the Act did not provide for any proper guidelines in the form of minimum educational qualifications, good character and conduct, the plea further goes on to say,

“Disqualification rule for convicted person cannot be applied differently on executive, judiciary and legislature. Hence Section 8 and Section 9 of the Part-II, Chapter-III (disqualification for membership of parliament and state legislature) of the Representation of the People Act 1951, is violative of the fundamental rights, unconstitutional and inconsistent with Article 13 and 14 of the Constitution of India.”

Other significant issues raised by the plea include the imposition of a lifetime ban on convicts from contesting elections, forming a political party and becoming office bearer of a political party.

Upadhyay who argued his case in person before a Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice VK Shali, also informed the Bench that a similar plea was pending before the Madras High Court.

The Bench then directed Upadhyay to produce a copy of that petition before this Court in order to decide the issue.

The case will now be heard on August 24.