The Apex Court, however, said that Parliament is free to amend law if it does not agree with interpretation of law given by the Supreme Court. (Agencies)
A bench of justices AK Patnaik and SJ Mukhopadhyay said that it would hear review plea on the limited ground whether disqualification mentioned in the constitution bars an arrested person from contesting election or not. It also raised questioned on why Centre preferred not to argue the case when the matter was being heard.
It also said that the Representation of People's Act is "clumsy" which caused the confusion and said that "The object of the provision was to keep the person with criminal background away from election."
"Parliament frames laws in the manner they like. If we make interpretation of law and if it is not accepted by it (Parliament), its again for Parliament to enact a law," it said.
Referring to its July 10 judgement that convicted legislatures would be disqualified as members of the House, the bench said, "There is no error on the face of the law but there can be on interpretation. We found that there are lacunae in law in this regard which can be considered by the legislatures."
It said since there was no error in its verdict. Parliament accepted it and came out with the Amendment Bill in RPA which was pased by Rajya Sabha.
"We are not inclined. It is a well considered judgement. Everybody should accept it. We are glad that Parliament has accepted," it said, adding, "We don't find any error apparent in the judgement of July 10. Hence, it (review petition) is dismissed."
The bench also said that Parliament can go ahead with the amendment saying "We don't want to stall the legislators who have come out with the bill."
While agreeing to have a fresh look at the issue of arrested persons prohibited from entering the electoral fray, the bench said this matter was not argued well keeping in view the Constitutional provision.
It said it will consider the issue of disqualification by taking into account Article 102 of the Constitution which deals with disqualification of membership as well as the provisions contained in the electoral law.
The Centre contended that protecting convicted MPs and MLAs from disqualification during pendency of appeal is necessary "to protect the House and to ensure that governance is not adversely impacted".
The Apex Court, however, said that Parliament is free to amend law if it does not agree with interpretation of law given by the Supreme Court.