The court has issued the notice on a petition filed by a lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma. Sharma has challenged the modified act, which allows the sub-judice or imprisoned candidates to contest the elections. He had earlier filed a petition on this issue in Delhi High Court but was not entertained there, which compelled him to knock the Supreme Court’s doors.

A bench headed by Justice HL Dattu has issued notice to the Central Government but has not put the Act on hold. In such a scenario, the court’s decision will have no impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the imprisoned as well as sub-judice candidates can contest the elections.

Strongman Mukhtar Ansari, in spite of being in jail, is contesting the elections on Quami Ekta Party ticket.

However, the modified Act, which allows candidates to contest from jail, does not provide the same privilege to convicted poll aspirants. Those who are convicted by the court, like Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav , are barred from contesting elections.

During a verdict on 10th July 2013, the Supreme Court had stated that those who are in jail can’t contest elections. However, the government made this verdict null and void by bringing amendments in the Representation of the People Act (India).

The government amended the Section 62 (5) of the Act and stated a candidate won’t be disqualified from contesting the polls till his name is not scrapped from the list.

(JPN/Bureau)

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