Deregistration of Political Party

  • The Supreme Court agreed to examine whether the Election Commission of India should be empowered to de-register a political party on the ground that a convicted person has either formed it or is a crucial party office-bearer.
What does the petition say?
  • The petition says “If a convicted person could be banned from contesting elections, he or she should also be debarred from heading a political party and controlling other elected members of his or her party”.
  • The petition names leaders like Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who was convicted in the fodder scam.
Background Information
  • On 10 July 2013, the Supreme Court of India, in its judgement of the Lily Thomas Union of India case ruled that any Member of Parliament(MP), Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Member of a Legislative Council (MLC) who is convicted of a crime and awarded a minimum of two year imprisonment, loses membership of the House with immediate effect.
  • This is in contrast to the earlier position, wherein convicted members held on to their seats until they exhausted all judicial remedy in lower, state and supreme court of India.
  • Further, Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed elected representatives three months to appeal their conviction, was declared unconstitutional.

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