Trials of Indian lawmakers who are accused of serious crimes must be completed within a year, the Supreme Court has ordered today. If a trial court fails to do so, it will have to explain the reasons to the high court, the SC said.
Last year, lawmakers who
are guilty of offences carrying a jail term of at least two years
were barred from elections by the apex court. And, it is the second
hammer stroke to sweep out corrupted and criminal politicians from
the regime. It is reported that in the 543-seated lower house more
than 150 MPs are charged with criminal offences. It is not a good
sign for democracy. Research figures show that 15 MPs face at least
one murder charge.
The Association for Democratic Reforms election watch dog says across the country there
are 1,460 serving lawmakers facing criminal charges, reported by the
BBC news India. Such an order by the top court one month before the
forthcoming elections is no doubt a leg-tie for political parties.
When we spoke to Mohan
Jena, an MP from Odisha's Biju Janta Dal (BJD) regarding the order,
he said, "It is the most welcomed decision by the SC. Politicians
charged with criminal offences must be expelled from the politics and
punished if they are really accused. I honour and welcome the order."
It will surely affect the
candidate selection process of parties and many like Lalu Prasad Yadav may loose tickets.