Interactive Discussion on “The SC Verdict: Will it Help Cleanse Politics?”

L to R: Nikhil Dey; Rajeshwar Dyal; Aruna Roy; Felix Schmidt; Ramesh Chandran; 
Sanjay Jaiswal; Harsimrat Badal; Ajoy Kumar; Hamdullah Sayeed 

A ruling by the Supreme Court that will compel the state and federal lawmakers to quit politics and be barred from contesting future elections if they are convicted of a crime that carries a sentence of at least two years in jail is evoking nation-wide interest. The same bench also struck down a provision in the Representation of Peoples Act that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts. 

There is no denying that the health of the Indian political system has degraded over the years. Though this landmark decision is set to change the face of Indian politics, it also raises concerns on its implementation. It requires broad based political consensus to sustain these reforms and overcome the challenges which includes, but is not limited to questions such as: How will the system be cleaned? How will they prevent the imminent misuse of the law by politicians for settling scores? 

As part of the ongoing collaborative series of roundtables with the FES and GPPI-CPR, an interactive discussion was organized on the theme- “The SC Verdict: Will it Help Cleanse Politics?” on August 22, 2013.

18 Members of Parliament across party lines from both the Houses participated in the discussion. The discussion included valued inputs by noted political and social activist Ms. Aruna Roy and Mr. Nikhil Dey.

L to R: Shantaram Naik; P D Rai; Jayant Chaudhary; 
Manicka Tagore; Neeraj Shekhar; Nikhil Dey; Rajeshwar Dyal

L to R: Asaduddin Owaisi; Yashodhara Raje Scindia; 
H K Dua; Agatha Sangma

L to R: Harsimrat Kaur Badal; Ajoy Kumar; 
Hamdullah Sayeed; Bharat Kumar Raut