At present the Election Commission has the power only to recognise a political party but not to de-recognise it for various reasons.
New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday made it clear in the Supreme Court that there is no provision of law existing to debar convicted legislators or other persons from forming a political party and becoming its office-bearer.
The Centre made this assertion in response to the court’s notice on a PIL seeking a ban on convicted persons from forming a political party and becoming its office-bearer. The court while issuing notice to the Centre said it would examine whether Election Commission could de-register political parties which are headed by convicted persons. At present the Election Commission has the power only to recognise a political party but not to de-recognise it for various reasons.
The petitioner, BJP advocate and leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya, cited the instance of Lalu Prasad Yadav, O.P. Chautala and Sasikala who have been convicted for major scams but still holding highest political post. Similarly, charges have been framed by the Court in serious cases against Suresh Kalmadi, A. Raja, Jagan Mohan Reddy, Madhu Koda, Ashok Chavan, Akabaruddin Owaisi, Kanimozhi, Mayawati and many others who are holding top posts in the parties.
The Bench also said it would examine Section 29 (A) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) as to whether the ECI is empowered to de-recognise the political party formed by a convicted person. It would also examine the issue to restrain the convicted person from becoming the office-bearer of the party.
Petitioner Ashwini Kumar had said convicted persons are disqualified for contesting election under and he/she also forfeits the right to vote under Section 62 of the RP Act.