Supreme decisions increased the prestige of the country, countrymen have faith in the judiciary

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The Supreme Court of India has recently given many such decisions which have increased the prestige of the country. Along with that, those decisions will also prove to be milestones in the field of judiciary. The Supreme Court has made every countryman proud with its decisions. At the same time, the confidence of the countrymen towards the judiciary has also been strengthened. These decisions of the Supreme Court are being appreciated all over the country. The common man of the country also started realizing due to the decision of the Supreme Court that justice can never be weak in our country. However, for the last several years, there were allegations of weakening the judiciary in the country. Those who have been lied to by the decisions of the Supreme Court.

On March 04, 2024, the Supreme Court has given a big decision on the issue of currency notes for votes. Now if they vote or ask a question in the House after taking bribe, the MPs or MLAs will not be exempted from the case under privilege. The constitutional bench of 7 judges of the Supreme Court on Monday overturned its 25 year old decision. The constitutional bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice AS Bopanna, MM Sundaresh, PS Narasimha, JB Pardiwala, Sanjay Kumar and Manoj Mishra said that we do not agree with the decision of Justice PV Narasimha given in 1998. In which MPs and MLAs were exempted from prosecution for giving speeches in the House or taking bribes for votes.

In 1998, a constitutional bench of 5 judges had decided with a majority of 3-2 that public representatives cannot be prosecuted in such cases. The court has said in its decision that if someone takes bribe then a case is made out. It does not matter whether he voted or gave a speech later. An allegation is made only when an MP accepts bribe. Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution are meant to maintain an atmosphere of debate and discussion inside the House. The purpose of both the articles then becomes meaningless. When a member is induced to vote or speak in a particular manner in the House by taking bribe.

There is no exemption for bribery under Article 105 or 194. The bribe taker is involved in criminal activity. Doing so does not fall under the category of requirement for voting or giving a speech in the House. Corruption and bribery of MPs destroy integrity in public life. We believe that bribery is not protected under parliamentary privilege.

The issue arose again when JMM MLA Sita Soren filed a petition to quash the criminal proceedings against her. He was accused of taking bribe to vote for a particular candidate in the 2012 Jharkhand Rajya Sabha elections. Sita Soren had argued in her defense that she has immunity under Article 194 (2) of the Constitution to say or vote anything in the House.

Similarly, a few days ago, the Supreme Court, while giving a major decision, declared the old electoral bond scheme for raising funds for political parties illegal and immediately banned taking donations through it. The Supreme Court has said that maintaining secrecy of electoral bonds is unconstitutional. This scheme violates the Right to Information. The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud gave the unanimous verdict.

In his decision, the Chief Justice has said that political parties are important units in the political process. Information about political funding is the process by which the voter gets the right choice to cast his vote. Voters have the right to know about election funding. Due to which the right selection is made for voting.

The petitioners had alleged that several amendments made in the Finance Act 2017 and Finance Act 2016 to implement this scheme were wrong. The petitioners claim that due to this, political parties are getting funding without investigation and paying taxes. The then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had introduced the Electoral Bond Scheme in the 2017 budget. Which was notified by the Central Government on 2 January 2018.

In December 2019, the petitioners had filed an application in the Supreme Court to put a stay on this scheme. In this, quoting media reports, it was told how the Central Government had ignored the concerns of the Election Commission and the Reserve Bank on the electoral bond scheme.

The Election Commission believed that by keeping the names of the donors anonymous, it would not be possible to find out whether the political party has taken donations in violation of Section 29 (B) or not. The law regarding taking foreign donations will also become useless. The Reserve Bank of India believed that electoral bonds would promote money laundering. Through this it will be possible to convert black money into white. After the objection of the Election Commission and the Reserve Bank, the decision of the Supreme Court can be considered historic in itself.

A few days ago, in the Chandigarh Mayor election case, the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had taken a big decision and declared Aam Aadmi Party candidate Kuldeep Kumar as Mayor. The Supreme Court has said that the decision announced by Presiding Officer Anil Masih to declare BJP candidate Manoj Kumar Sonkar as the mayor winner is illegal and is rejected. The top court said that quashing the entire electoral process would be disastrous for the democratic principle as it all happened because of the misconduct of the presiding officer. The Supreme Court said that Presiding Officer Masih had deliberately mutilated eight ballot papers. Therefore, a notice has been issued to prosecute him.

The Supreme Court, while passing the order using the privilege under Article 142 in this case, had said that we are issuing instructions for complete justice. The Justices and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court have observed the ballot paper and video and personally examined it and have found that it is not distorted.

The top court said that in the result sheet, petitioner Kuldeep has got 12 votes. Whereas 16 votes were received by BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar and 8 ballot papers were declared invalid by the presiding officer. The Supreme Court declared these eight ballots valid and said that the votes cast in them were in favor of Kuldeep Kumar. The top court said that in this way Kuldeep Kumar has got a total of 20 votes and he is declared the winner for the post of Mayor.

Such decisions will strengthen the democratic process in India. At the same time, fear will spread in the minds of those who do wrong. They will feel that they can be put in the dock at any time by taking action against their wrongdoings. Therefore, a person who does wrong will take every step only after thinking about the pros and cons a hundred times.

– Ramesh Saraf Dhamora

(The author is an independent journalist accredited by the Government of Rajasthan.)

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