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Legislature and Judiciary UPSC NOTE

 Need for collaboration between the legislature and the judiciary in

combating corruption

  • The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretariat has, at last, declared the Tirukkoyilur Assembly constituency as vacant following the conviction and disqualification of former Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy in a disproportionate assets case in December last. 

  • The delay is in stark contrast to the way Vilavancode was declared vacant in February — here, the legislator concerned quit after changing her party affiliation

  • But, it is inexplicable why there was so much of a time lag for Tirukkoyilur even though the Madras High Court’s order of conviction was not stayed by the Supreme Court.

  • This had only exempted Mr. Ponmudy and his wife from surrendering despite the High Court’s sentence of three-year simple imprisonment.

  • The AIADMK General Secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, had written to the Assembly Speaker, M. Appavu, urging him to act without bias in declaring the seat vacant. Mr. Ponmudy’s disqualification fell under Section 8(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

  • Section 8(1) lists out offences covered under laws such as the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, and Prevention of Corruption Act and states that a conviction and mere imposition of a fine under those laws would be sufficient for a legislator’s disqualification. 

  • The delay in the declaration of the vacancy becomes curiouser as jurists highlight that Section 8(1) uses the phrase “shall be disqualified”. 

  • This means that the disqualification notification must necessarily take effect from the day when a legislator is convicted. 

Legal provisions regarding disqualification of legislators and the importance of timely action in such cases.

  • When the judiciary displays renewed interest in pursuing anti-corruption cases.

  • Especially those concerning lawmakers, it would do well for the legislature to act in tandem.

  • Otherwise, there would be no purpose in having a system of special courts for cases involving MP/MLAs or an arrangement in the High Court to look after such cases, particularly after conviction is awarded. 

  • At a time when liberal democracy is facing serious challenges in India, the legislature supporting the judiciary in stamping out corruption in public life would instil confidence.

  • At the same time, the judiciary and legislature should not be seen as failing to protect critics of the establishment. 

  • After all, democracy is about tolerating dissent and respecting it too

  • It is incumbent upon all to play by the rules of the game in a fair manner to avoid any impression that authoritarianism of the executive or “tyranny of the majority” in the legislature or judicial overreach is becoming the norm.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Legislature and Judiciary UPSC NOTE
Legislature and Judiciary UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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