Union Cabinet on 2 October 2013 decided to withdraw the ordinance on convicted lawmakers, as well as the Bill that sought to amend the Representation of the People Act.
The Cabinet took the decision in a meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 2 October 2013.
The Union Cabinet had approved on 24 September 2013 the Ordinance which sought to negate the Supreme Court order of 10 July 2013 which ruled that any lawmaker would stand immediately disqualified if convicted by a court.
The Ordinance was not signed by President Pranab Mukherjee as he had reservations on it. Government had resorted to the Ordinance route after it failed to get a Bill in this regard passed by Parliament during the Monsoon session which ended in September 2013.
The ordinance, once promulgated, will allow the convicted MPs or MLAs to continue in office if their appeal is admitted by a higher court within 90 days of conviction by the trial court. However, they will not be allowed to vote or draw salaries till the case is decided.
About the Ordinance
The Ordinance is the Legislative Power of President of India covered in Article 123 of Constitution of India.
Article 123 of Constitution of India:
Power of President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament.
(1) If at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such Ordinances as the circumstances appear to him to require.
(2) An ordinance promulgated under this article shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament, but every such ordinance-
(a) Shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament, or, if before the expiration of that period resolutions disapproving it are passed by both Houses, upon the passing of the second of those resolutions; and
(b) May be withdrawn at any time by the President. Explanation.- Where the Houses of Parliament are summoned to reassemble on different dates, the period of six weeks shall be reckoned from the later of those dates for the purposes of this clause.
(3) If and so far as an Ordinance under this article makes any provision, which Parliament would not under this Constitution be competent to enact, it shall be void.
Who: Union Cabinet
Where: New Delhi
When: 2 October 2013