The issue of criminality in politics or precisely convicted representative in Parliament and legislature has been debated for a long time and several reforms have been proposed by different forums (Election Commission of India, Supreme Court etc.). Similarly with the parliamentary election had to be conducted in 2014, the Supreme Court came up with three landmark judgments one of them was the constitutionality of Section 8 (4) of RPA, which influenced the conduct of the election.
The two writ petition Lily Thomas v. Union of India and S.N. Shukla v. Union of India was filed as Public Interest Litigation primarily with the objective to declare Section 8 (4), RPA, as ultra vires the constitution.
The provision of the RPA outlines that convicted representative can file an appeal and consequently this will put stay on their conviction, Lily Thomas said thereby “it encourages tainted leaders to contest elections. This should never have been permitted”. This was her reason for filing this petition. Her objective was, the Court to be held in high esteem and declaration of the clause as illegal.Lok Prahari, a Lucknow-based NGO, through its general secretary, had also filed a petition on the identical bearing so both the petitions were adjudicated together.