Persons in jail cannot contest polls in legislative bodies: Supreme Court
New Delhi: A person, who is in jail or in police custody, cannot contest election to legislative bodies, the Supreme Court has held, bringing to an end an era of undertrial politicians fighting polls from behind bars.
In another path breaking verdict to prevent criminal elements from entering Parliament and state assemblies, the apex court ruled that only an “elector” can contest the polls and he/she ceases the right to cast vote due to confinement in prison or being in custody of police.
The court, however, made it clear that disqualification would not be applicable to person subjected to preventive detention under any law.
Referring to the Representation of Peoples’ Act, a bench of justices A K Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhayay said that the Act (Section 4 & 5)lays down the qualifications for membership of the House of the People and Legislative Assembly and one of the qualifications laid down is that he must be an elector.