Saturday, Oct 05, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
As per the decision, apart from the time spent behind bars, those convicted would be debarred from contesting elections for a further period of six years. Presently, the law only prescribes a disqualification of six years from the time of conviction and consequently there was a possibility for a person undergoing sentence beyond that period to contest elections while still being in jail.
Announcing the decision, the Union Minister and Cabinet spokesperson, Sushma Swaraj, said the amendment was being made as a follow-up to a recommendation by the National Commission for Women. The issue was also discussed at the all-party meetings convened a few months ago on electoral reforms and there was a general consensus in favour of such a move.
The amendment, which will be placed before Parliament in the form of a Bill in the next session for its approval, relates to offences under section 8 (1) of the R.P.Act.
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