The Supreme Court in an unprecedented judgment issued an order for convicted MPs/MLAs to be disqualified and further restrained from contesting elections.
The judgment declared on Wednesday rejected the provision 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act which offered protection to convicted politicians by allowing them to file an appeal.
"The only question is about the vires of section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) and we hold that it is ultra vires and that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction," a bench of justices AK Patnaik and SJ Mukhopadhaya said.
The landmark judgment comes as a much required boost for the Indian political system which is need for a desperate need of clean up in the face of corruption.
The judges went on to pronounce that if the lawmakers were awarded jail terms or fines for offending the national flag and tarnishing a religious place they will be disqualified.
However, the judgment would not take into its ambit the lawmakers who have already filed appeals against the conviction before before the pronouncement of this order.
The bench of the Justices voicing the concerns of many over the years asked, "If an ordinary citizen does not get this kind of benefit while he remains a convict, why should MPs get it?"
The significant move has met with support from the Election Commission and several activists who have long tried to eradicate this uncalled and biased provision which only adds to the growing fraudulence in the system.
Lauding the step, former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi said, "This judgement will have serious and far-reaching implications for cleansing India's political system."
Professor Jagdeep Chhokar of Association for Democratic Reforms told The Times of India, "This is a significant step towards reducing criminals sitting in our legislatures. As a result of this order, our legislatures will be better than the past.''
The epic decision received thumbs down from former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who insisted that the 'disqualification issue', is sensitive and requires presidential assent. "It is very sad that the highest court of the land does not allow MPs/MLAs a chance to have their appeals heard," he told Economic Times.
The political parties seemed to have been caught off guard with the SC verdict and when asked of the opinions many could not offered any clear opinion.
Congress leader and Law minister Kapil Sibal said, "We will first read the verdict and see its impact and consult everybody."
Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said: "We respect court verdicts and we still do not have full details of the judgment... We will take note of it."
BJP senior leader said, "It is a very important issue with legal complexity and we would not like to comment on this without reading the judgment," reported Daily News Analysis.
Wednesday's judicial order came in response to the three public interest litigations (PIL) filed by lawyer Lily Thomas and SN Shukla and another by an NGO 'Lok Prahari'.