Pre-Judgment MatrixFraming of Criminal Charges & Electoral Disqualification
Our Pre-Judgement Matrix outlines how the Court might rule in the Electoral Disqualification case. The petitioners have requested the Court to disqualify persons from membership in a legislative body when criminal charges are filed against them. Currently, candidates are only disqualified when they are convicted of criminal charges.
The Public Interest Foundation, an NGO, has requested the Court to alter Section 8 of the Representation of People Act 1951, so that criminal candidates are already disqualified at the ‘framing of charges’ stage. The Public Interest Foundation would like the judiciary to take steps to reduce the increasing criminalisation of politics. The NGO believes that the legislature is incapable of instituting the necessary changes itself, given the obvious conflict of interests.
In making its judgement, the Court must be careful to not to infringe upon the seperation of powers. If it were to alter Section 8 of the RP Act, Parliament might accuse the Court of engaging in ‘law-making’. The power to make laws is reserved for the legislature.