Supreme Court on Monday said it would consider setting up a five-judge constitution bench to hear a plea seeking barring of those politicians against whom charges have been framed in serious offences, from contesting elections. The petition, which was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, has raised a question whether a person against whom charges have been framed be permitted to contest polls.
“We will consider and let you know,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said when lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay mentioned the plea seeking early adjudication by a five-judge constitution bench. The plea, which was also mentioned on January 5 by Upadhyay, seeks setting up of a larger bench on several grounds including that many people facing trial in serious cases could contest and win elections and hence the legal questions needed to be settled.
At present, a person, convicted in a serious criminal case, is barred from contesting polls and a lawmaker stands disqualified in the event of conviction. Besides Upadhyay, former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh and NGO ‘Public Interest Foundation’ had filed PILs raising similar issues. The pleas were referred to the larger bench which is yet to be set up.