01 October, 2020

Catch Me If You Can

Experts and social activists feel that the test for excluding those charged with criminal offences from public life should include three categories at least.

Catch Me If You Can
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Existing provisions of law, norms of public morality and publicising the criminal antecedents of potential legislators have all failed to keep dubious characters out of elected bodies, be it Parliament or state assemblies. If the civil society, armed with full information on these deviants, cannot mount enough pressure to keep political parties from entertaining them and voters from electing them, legal safeguards ought to be made more stringent, experts and social activists feel. According to them, the test for excluding those charged with criminal offences from public life should include the following:

Category 1
Persons who have been convicted of offences listed in the Representation of People Act and sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more, unless their conviction has been stayed by a higher court. Such a provision already exists and is being implemented. However, conviction rates in this country being so abysmally low and trials so long-winded, most "criminals" never end up serving a sentence—or if they do, it’s decades after committing a crime. In...

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