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Cabinet clears ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers

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Cabinet clears ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers
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New Delhi: An Ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs from facing immediate disqualification was approved on Tuesday by the Union Cabinet, in effect negating an order of the Supreme Court.

Government decided to bring the Ordinance after failing to get a Bill to this effect passed in Parliament during the recent Monsoon Session, sources said.

The government decision to take the Ordinance route came against the backdrop of a Congress MP Rashid Masood facing the prospect of disqualification as he was recently convicted in a case of corruption and other offences.

The Supreme Court on July 10 had ruled that an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.

To negate the Supreme Court order, the government moved to amend the law and brought the Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the last session. However, the bill could not be passed.

Once the quantum of punishment is pronounced by a CBI court next month, Masood faces the prospects of losing his membership of Rajya Sabha as per the apex court order.

PTI

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