Friday, February 16, 2007

Criminals in Parliament ?

A noble initiative here

This post from Hawkeye talks about banning people who have been charged with a crime carrying a sentence of two years or more. I am quoting verbatim below to ensure you get the exact message:

In my opinion, it is extremely necessary for any person formally charged with a crime carrying a sentence of TWO years or more by a competent Court to be barred from contesting elections. A person who has been charged by a competent Court should be barred from contesting election even if he has not been convicted. We all know that the due process of law in India can easily be subverted and cases drag on for decades without conviction. Hence the Committee’s recommendation of disqualifying a person only after being convicted of a crime carrying a sentence of 5 years is very wrong, and goes against greater public interest.

Now, apart from the fact that this plays into the hands of experienced politicians (read corrupt politicians) who can manipulate things so an honest candidate is charged with a crime that will bar him from contesting the elections, I do not understand why it isn't easier to NOT vote for criminals when they do contest the elections !

Are we, the public, so weak, so meak, so blind, so careless, so stupid etc that we will vote for a candidate who is contesting the elections from our favourite party irrespective of his ethical/criminal background ?
Further, is the party more important than the candidate ? Is a party which grants tickets to criminals worth voting for ?
Given the efficacy of our judiciary, are we to assume that all persons charged with crimes are actually criminals or are incapable of doing a honest job ?

There are possibly some flaws in my argument above. Please let me know what those are ?