Jaitley welcomes SC directive on trial of lawmakers

Arun-JaitleyNew Delhi, March 11 : BJP leader Arun Jaitley Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court directive on expeditious trial in criminal cases involving elected representatives, saying "it was a step in the right direction".

"Criminalisation of politics has been a very serious issue confronting Indian polity. The malady has been that people with criminal track record and pending charge sheets are fielded by political parties," Jaitley said on his blog.

"This creates an apprehension in the mind of the country with regard to the quality of politics and the kind of persons who enter the legislative bodies," said the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

The Supreme Court Monday directed that trials for criminal offences involving sitting members of parliament and legislatures should be concluded within a year by holding it on a day-to-day basis.

"The Supreme Court order upholds the presumption of innocence till held guilty. Simultaneously, it puts the elected representatives on strict and expeditious scrutiny. I welcome the order. It is a step in the right direction," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.

He said that in order to address this issue, a bill was prepared during the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which proposed certain categories of "heinous offences".

"If charges in two cases involving heinous offences were framed, a person could be disqualified from contesting elections. Even this proposal which the NDA supported was rejected by other political parties," he wrote in the blog.(IANS)