Cong, BJP cautious in response to SC judgement on elections
New Delhi: Political parties today sounded a cautious note in response to the Supreme Court judgement that persons who are in jail or police custody cannot contest elections to legislative bodies.
Both Congress and BJP said they will come out with a proper response only after studying the judgement.
"There are many questions that need to be answered on this issue. We will study the judgement and then come out with a response," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said.
BJP was also cautious as it said that it supported any action that was aimed at cleansing politics and it would have to read the judgement carefully before responding to it.
"We will go through the judgement and then come out with a structured response," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
He, however, expressed apprehensions that there may be case when opposition leaders are put behind bars ahead of elections only with an aim to prevent them from contesting.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari was also guarded in his response saying the SC judgement should not be read as "stand alone" as it can raise certain legitimate questions.
"Let us first read the judgement carefully before critiquing it," he said.
In another pathbreaking verdict to prevent criminal elements from entering Parliament and state assemblies, the Supreme Court ruled that only an "elector" can contest the polls and he/she ceases the right to cast vote due to confinement in prison or being in custody of police.
The court, however, made it clear that disqualification would not be applicable to person subjected to preventive detention under any law.