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Declaring sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as ultra vires the Constitution.=The result of our aforesaid discussion is that the affirmative words used in Articles 102(1)(e) and 191(1)(e) confer power on Parliament to make one law laying down the same disqualifications for a person who is to be chosen as member of either House of Parliament or as a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State and for a person who is a sitting member of a House of Parliament or a House of the State Legislature and the words in Articles 101(3)(a) and 190(3)(a) of the Constitution put express limitations on such powers of the Parliament to defer the date on which the disqualifications would have effect. Accordingly, sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act which carves out a saving in the case of sitting members of Parliament or State Legislature from the disqualifications under sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act or which defers the date on which the disqualification will take effect in the case of a sitting member of Parliament or a State Legislature is beyond the powers conferred on Parliament by the Constitution. Looking at the affirmative terms of Articles 102(1)(e) and 191(1)(e) of the Constitution, we hold that Parliament has been vested with the powers to make law laying down the same disqualifications for person to be chosen as a member of Parliament or a State Legislature and for a sitting member of a House of Parliament or a House of a State Legislature. We also hold that the provisions of Article 101(3)(a) and 190(3)(a) of the Constitution expressly prohibit Parliament to defer the date from which the disqualification will come into effect in case of a sitting member of Parliament or a State Legislature. Parliament, therefore, has exceeded its powers conferred by the Constitution in enacting sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act and accordingly subsection (4) of Section 8 of the Act is ultra vires the Constitution.;Where the execution of the sentence is stayed, the conviction continues to operate. But where the conviction itself is stayed, the effect is that the conviction will not be operative from the date of stay. An order of stay, of course, does not render the conviction non-existent, but only nonoperative. Be that as it may. Insofar as the present case is concerned, an application was filed specifically seeking stay of the order of conviction specifying the consequences if conviction was not stayed, that is, the appellant would incur disqualification to contest the election. The High Court after considering the special reason, granted the order staying the conviction. As the conviction itself is stayed in contrast to a stay of execution of the sentence, it is not possible to accept the contention of the respondent that the disqualification arising out of conviction continues to operate even after stay of conviction. In the aforesaid case, a contention was raised by the respondents that the appellant was disqualified from contesting the election to the Legislative Assembly under sub-section (3) of Section 8 of the Act as he had been convicted for an offence punishable under Sections 366 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code and it was held by the three-Judge Bench that as the High Court for special reasons had passed an order staying the conviction, the disqualification arising out of the conviction ceased to operate after the stay of conviction. Therefore, the disqualification under sub-section (1), (2) or (3) of Section 8 of the Act will not operate from the date of order of stay of conviction passed by the Appellate Court under Section 389 of the Code or the High Court under Section 482 of the Code.;whether our declaration in this judgment that sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act is ultra vires the Constitution should affect disqualifications already incurred under subsections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act by sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures who have filed appeals or revisions against their conviction within a period of three months and their appeals and revisions are still pending before the concerned court. =However, if any sitting member of Parliament or a State Legislature is convicted of any of the offences mentioned in sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act and by virtue of such conviction and/or sentence suffers the disqualifications mentioned in sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act after the pronouncement of this judgment, his membership of Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be, will not be saved by subsection (4) of Section 8 of the Act which we have by this judgment declared as ultra vires the Constitution notwithstanding that he files the appeal or revision against the conviction and /or sentence.; whether a person, who is confined in prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police is not entitled to vote by virtue of sub-section (5) of Section 62 of the 1951 Act and accordingly is not an “elector” and is, therefore, not qualified to contest elections to the House of People or the Legislative Assembly of a State because of the provisions in Sections 4 and 5 of the 1951 Act. By the impugned common order, the Patna High Court accepted this contention in the writ petitions and held: “A right to vote is a statutory right, the Law gives it, the Law takes it away. Persons convicted of crime are kept away from elections to the Legislature, whether to State Legislature or Parliament, and all other public elections. The Court has no hesitation in interpreting the Constitution and the Laws framed under it, read together, that persons in the lawful custody of the Police also will not be voters, in which case, they will neither be electors. The Law temporarily takes away the power of such persons to go anywhere near the election scene. To vote is a statutory right. It is privilege to vote, which privilege may be taken away. In that case, the elector would not be qualified, even if his name is on the electoral rolls. The name is not struck off, but the qualification to be an elector and the privilege to vote when in the lawful custody of the police is taken away.” – a person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of sub-section (5) of Section 62 of the 1951 Act is not an elector and is therefore not qualified to contest the election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40545 Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 490 OF 2005 Lily Thomas … Petitioner Versus Union of India & Ors. … Respondents WITH WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 231 OF 2005 Lok Prahari, through its General Secretary S.N. Shukla … Petitioner Versus Union of India & … Continue reading

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