SC to hear plea for removing MPs, MLAs charged in rape cases

New Delhi: After initially declining to hear a plea for disqualification of MPs and MLAs charge sheeted for rape and other crimes against women, the Supreme Court today sought response from the Centre and state governments for removing such legislators as people's representatives.

The apex court, which during the hearing, had in clear terms stated it cannot go into the issue of disqualification of legislators facing charges with rape and crime against women and children, later in its order incorporated this plea of PIL petitioners for issuing notice to the Centre and states for their stand.

A bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra, which had agreed to go into issues of fast track trial of rape cases and implementation of laws for safety of women, had earlier preferred not to go into the issue of legislators saying, "The issue of disqualification of MPs and MLAs is not in our jurisdiction."

"What is our power on MPs and MLAs. Obviously, such a sweeping relief can't be sought," the bench had said.

The apex court, which was hearing two PILs filed after the December 16 gangrape incident, also decided to go into the plea for seeking direction for termination of services of police and government officials who are convicted of charges of rape and other heinous crimes against women and children.

The bench, during the hearing, suggested that the petitioners should have taken the ground that if the investigation into the cases was not upto the mark, it should be treated as "misconduct" on the part of the Investigating Officer.

The bench also asked the government to apprise it about the terms and references of justice J S Verma committee which was set up to review and strengthen the existing law on rape and offences against women.