4 Mar 2024

No legal protection for MLAs and MPs in bribery cases: What did PM Modi say on this decision of Supreme Court? What does this verdict mean?

PM Narendra Modi has welcomed the Supreme Court's decision of not giving any legal protection to MPs and MLAs in bribery cases.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised Supreme Court verdict in JMM bribery case.

Calling it a Great Judgment the Prime Minister said in X post: “SWAGATAM!

A great judgment by the Hon’ble Supreme Court which will ensure clean politics and deepen people’s faith in the system.”

The Supreme Court, comprised of a seven-judge bench, delivered the verdict on Monday in a case related to the privileges of MPs and MLAs. The decision overturns the 1998 Narasimha Rao Judgment, where a five-judge bench had previously ruled, with a majority of 3:2, that public representatives could not be prosecuted in bribery cases.

According to the today's ruling, MPs and MLAs will not be entitled to legal protection under privilege in cases involving bribery. The Constitution bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, clarified in the judgment that lawmakers cannot claim immunity from prosecution if accused of accepting a bribe for a vote or a speech in the House.

Implications of the Verdict

The Supreme Court's decision marks a significant shift in addressing the longstanding challenge of cash-for-votes trading, which has posed a threat to the integrity of electoral mandates. Prior to this ruling, MPs and MLAs enjoyed immunity from prosecution if they accepted a bribe and voted accordingly. However, with the recent judgment, they have lost this immunity.

The court emphasized that the commission of the crime occurs when a lawmaker accepts a bribe, and the protection previously afforded within the legislative house will not shield them in cases of bribery. This verdict aims to enhance transparency and credibility in the political system by holding public representatives accountable for corrupt practices related to their official duties.

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