World News

SC notice to Centre on plea for nationwide ban on firecrackers

SC notice to Centre on plea for nationwide ban on firecrackers

The court chose to examine the provision while refusing to entertain a plea by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction that no convicted politician could be an office bearer of a political party, saying that it would amount to venturing in the area of law making.

The Supreme Court Friday sought the responses of the Centre and the Election Commission on a PIL seeking to restrain convicted politicians from holding any posts in political parties.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud initially told senior counsel Siddharth Luthra appearing for petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya, BJP spokesperson "We can't impose a law on Parliament when such a prohibition is not there in the law".

The petition contended that "by virtue of sections 8, 8A, 9, 9A, 10 and 11 of the Act of 1951, it has already been held that candidates convicted under criminal laws are disqualified from contesting elections with immediate effect".

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As the pollution levels are reaching alarming levels, the petitioners, on whose plea firecrackers were banned in Delhi, sought additional directions from the apex court to make air in the NCR breathable. More than a decade ago in 2004, "even the Election Commission had proposed an amendment to Section 29A of the RP Act to authorise it to issue appropriate orders to regulate registration/de-registration of parties", he said. Then there is the matter regarding doing away with the limited period of the disqualification and extending it for the lifetime of the convict.

Mr Luthra said the court should interpret Section 29 (A) of RPA to empower the ECI to derecognise the political parties if convicted persons head them.

It contended that only 20 per cent of registered political parties contest elections and the remaining only create excessive load on the electoral system.


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