After ordering disqualification of MPs and MLAs immediately after conviction for heinous offences, the Supreme Court on Monday took a second big step towards cleansing the political process by directing that trial proceedings in cases of corruption and serious crimes against elected representatives must be completed within a year.
The apex court's July 10, 2013 judgment had robbed elected representatives of the benefit under Section 8(4) of Representative of People Act which allowed them to save their membership in respective Houses by merely filing an appeal within three months of the order of conviction.
The order ends the last hope of MPs and MLAs of evading early adjudication of their alleged guilt.
This means, those who get elected in the coming general elections and have pending criminal and corruption cases against them, the verdict will be out before May next year.
If found guilty and sentenced to more than two years imprisonment, they will immediately lose their membership. This order will also have a sanitising effect on political parties and ensure that they do not field candidates with criminal background. The order will have a bearing on the political career of 162 MPs who are facing criminal charges.