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Lily Thomas and Union Of India (2013)

Lily Thomas and Union Of India (2013)

Lily Thomas case (2013)

  • Lily Thomas and an NGO Lok Prahari challenged the Sec 8(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 as ultra vires to the constitution.
  • The idea of the PIL was to stop the entry of the convicted individuals in the legislative houses.
  • The court held that once a member becomes disqualified then his seat automatically becomes vacant by the virtue of Article 102 and 191. Hence the Parliament cannot make provision to defer the date on which the disqualification will have effect and prevent the member’s seat from becoming vacant.
  • The Bench found it unconstitutional that convicted persons could be disqualified from contesting elections but could continue to be Members of Parliament and State Legislatures once elected.

Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951

  • Section 8 of the RP Act deals with disqualification on conviction for certain offences.
  • A person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for varying terms under Sections 8 (1) (2) and (3) shall be disqualified from the date of conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.
  • It provides that if a sitting member of the house who is convicted for an offence which is punishable for more than two years’ imprisonment and such a convicted person moves an appeal within three months of the conviction then he shall not be disqualified from holding the membership of the house.

Public Interest Foundation Case | Lily Thomas and Union Of India (2013) 

  • In 2018, the SC delivered a judgement in Electoral Disqualification.
  • The five-judge Bench unanimously decided that a candidate cannot be disqualified from contesting elections against whom criminal charges have been framed.
  • The Bench asked Parliament to make a law that prevents candidates accused of serious crimes from entering politics.

Article 102(1) and 191(1) | Lily Thomas and Union Of India (2013) 

  • These both articles lay down the disqualification for a MP and MLA respectively.At the same time is also empowers the Central government to add more disqualification on its wisdom.

Petition Challenging The Validity Of The ‘Advocate On Record’ System

  • Lily Thomas was one of the first advocates to file a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the ‘Advocate on Record’ system on 14 January 1964.
  • In In re Lily Isabel Thomas, AIR 1964 SC 855, she had argued that as an advocate entitled to practise in this Court, she was entitled as of right not merely to plead but also to act, and that the Rules of this Court which prescribe qualifications before she could be permitted to act were therefore invalid.
  • She, hence, sought that Rule 16(1) of Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules as amended in 1962 which contains this prescription of qualifications be declared ultra vires.
  • Though her petition failed but it paved way for many more petitions that have been filed in this regard and the issue of the AOR system has been debated many time ever since. Lily Thomas and Union Of India (2013)



Indian Polity

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