Moving amendments to the Representation of the People Act, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said that the Apex Court judgement was ‘clearly erroneous’ and advised the judiciary to be ‘extremely careful’ in giving rulings which have an impact on the polity of the country.
    
The Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, which was passed by the House, seeks to add a proviso to sub-section (2) of section 62 of the RP
Act to state that a person cannot cease to be a voter while in detention as his or her right is only temporarily suspended.
    
One of the amendments states that as the name of the jailed person continues to be on the electoral rolls, he or she also continues to be an elector and can file nomination
for an election.
    
"Provided further that by reason of the prohibition to vote under this sub-section, a person whose name has been entered in the electoral roll shall not cease to be an
elector," the proviso reads.
    
The amendments seek to negate the July 10 order of the Supreme Court which held that those in jail cannot vote as per RP Act and hence cannot qualify for contesting elections to Parliament or state legislatures.
    
The amendment, once passed by Parliament, shall come into effect from July 10, 2013, the day the Supreme Court gave the judgement.
    
Speaking on the bill, Sibal said there is a general ‘negative perception’ in the country that all politicians are criminals. ‘Courts are enthusiastic to prove us so, even if we
are not so,’ he said.

(Agencies)

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