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Cabinet okays change to electoral act to negate SC ruling

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Cabinet okays change to electoral act to negate SC ruling
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New Delhi: The union cabinet Thursday approved amendments to the Representation of the People Act to negate a recent order by the apex court on immediate disqualification of convicted lawmakers and barring them from contesting if under arrest, sources said.

According to the sources, the amendment proposes that a lawmaker would not be disqualified if convicted but would lose his right to vote along with perks and privileges including salary.

The second amendment states that a lawmaker would not lose his right to vote if under arrest even for a short duration and thereby would retain his right to contest a poll.

The Supreme Court had ruled that MPs or legislators will stand disqualified from the membership of the house from the date of conviction in a trial court for a period of over two years.

It had held Section 8(4) - which allows a convicted lawmaker to remain in office till the pendency of appeal - of the Representation of the People Act as ultra vires.

This ruling could see several lawmakers in both parliament and state assemblies lose their seats.

Politicians had feared registration of false cases by their rivals specially on the eve of an election.

At an all-party meeting held earlier, the parties had united in expressing their dissent over the Supreme Court's ruling.

IANS

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