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No takers in Cong for Verma panel's suggestions on lawmakers

Thursday, 24 January 2013 - 8:52pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The panel also demanded that a candidate who fails to disclose a charge or the commission of an offence should be disqualified subsequently.

Justice JS Verma Committee's suggestion that MPs and MLAs having heinous cases pending against them should voluntarily quit their seats did not find favour with Congress.

"Politicians and leaders are also part of the same society and they do not descend from heaven. Can we ask someone to quit just on a charge?", party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told reporters.

Suggesting that such a course would not be in line with principles of democracy and natural justice, she asked as to what would happen if such a leader is ultimately found to be innocent. "Will it not ruin his five years of political career? Can anyone be able to compensate it," she posed the question.

A Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said that if such a suggestion is agreed upon, it would create problems for lawmakers with the dirty tricks department in politics working overtime to eliminate the opponents.

The Verma committee which presented its recommendations to the government on Wednesday asked MPs and MLAs having heinous cases pending against them to voluntarily quit their seats as a mark of respect to Parliament, legislatures and the Constitution.

Currently, a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to more than two years imprisonment shall be disqualified from the date of conviction and for a further period of six years after his release.

The panel also demanded that a candidate who fails to disclose a charge or the commission of an offence should be disqualified subsequently.

Chowdhury hoped that the government will bring in the Budget session beginning next month changes in the anti-rape laws in the wake of recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee.


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