Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on the Supreme Court’s verdict dealing with the decriminalisation of politics, Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate KTS Tulsi opined that it was a complex issue. He stated that the trial and the appeal process of cases involving Parliamentarians should move at a faster pace. Advising caution against the disqualification of MPs merely on cases being registered against them, the senior advocate appreciated that the Supreme Court had struck a healthy balance.
Rajya Sabha MP KTS Tulsi remarked, “I think this is a very complex issue. It is necessary that the rot is stemmed. Because a large percentage of elected representatives turn out to be involved in very serious crimes. But then, it is the criminal justice system which also has to take part of the blame. And there has to be a certain speed with which the trial and the process of appeals is culminated.”
He added, “Because, the police in India is not independent. They are right under the thumb of the politicians. It is a very convenient way of eliminating opposition stalwarts by getting false cases registered. I think that the solution which is indicated by the Supreme Court that the names should be put on the website and reasons should be given as to why inspite of the knowledge of these cases to the party, still the ticket has been given- that will be sufficient, that is striking a balance between both sides.”
Tulsi backed his apprehension of politicians being falsely implicated by citing the fact that the SC had termed the Central Bureau of Investigation a “caged parrot”. He claimed that the situation of police stations in the rural areas was worse. At the same time, he appreciated the initiative of SC.
“The Supreme Court has now taken the initiative of directing the states to constitute special courts so that the process of the trial can be expedited. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the most premier agency of the police- the CBI was termed as a 'caged parrot'. And that or worse is the situation of ordinary police stations in the hinterland. And therefore, it should not be that malicious cases are filed to secure the disqualification of opponents,” the senior advocate said.
Earlier in the day, an SC bench comprising Justice RF Nariman and Justice Ravindra Bhat passed an order on the contempt petitions which complained that the Election Commission of India had failed to comply with a 2018 order pertaining to the decriminalisation of politics. It directed all the political parties to publish the criminal antecedents of their candidates in Lok Sabha as well as Assembly polls on their official social media handles and websites besides local newspapers. Political parties must follow this process within 48 hours of selection of the candidate or within two weeks of filing nomination papers, whichever is earlier. Furthermore, the reason for selecting the candidate with pending criminal cases must be disclosed by the party.