Bar defectors from holding public office for five years, says Kapil Sibal

NEW DELHI: Elected representatives should be barred from holding public office for five years and from contesting the next election if they defect,senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Saturday.
Sibal, who was addressing a webinar, said that the “endemic” of defection is due to human greed and hunger for power.
His remarks come at a time when the ruling Congress in Rajasthan is facing a rebellion by Sachin Pilot and his loyalist MLAs. Just months earlier party legislators led by Jyotiraditya Scindia had defected to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh leading to the collapse of the Congress government there.
“No law can prevent it (defection). The only solution is that if anyone defects they shall not hold public office for five years and cannot contest in the next election. These are the two elements that need to change,” Sibal said in response to a question on the political crisis in Rajasthan.
Speaking on the Collegium system of appointments, Sibal said even the judges are human beings and are swayed by personal likes and dislikes.
“See, even if you give the power to the government, they will misuse it,” he said.
When a person becomes a judge in the Supreme Court, he should give away his personal likes and dislikes. “But over the years, this is not happening,” he said.
The Congress leader also spoke about issues relating to matters of faith and said personally he felt that the apex court should not have dealt with the Sabarimala temple case.
“I don’t think the court should even enter the area because it has an enormous impact on society. The change in society comes with education, transformation and social movement. You can lay down any law but unless there is a change in societal mindset, there will be no change,” he said.
Sibal also voiced his opinion on some senior lawyers refusing to represent the Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley face-off in Ladakh.
“The lawyers who did this should not have made their feelings public. You may not take a brief for whatever reason but you don’t have to prove nationalism in public,” Sibal said in the webinar organised in partnership with a legal news portal.
On the recent killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in Kanpur, the parliamentarian said that “encounter is the most barbaric method and it should not be accepted in any democratic society”.
“How are we different from countries that cut off your hands for stealing? I am sorry, the courts have not come down heavily. It is time for courts to realise that democracy has been destroyed in India through political tools,” he said.
When asked about his views on developments in Jammu and Kashmir, Sibal said that “citizens cannot be treated differently and it is not that everybody there is a terrorist”.
He did said it was “unfortunate that people were deprived of fundamental rights and the Supreme Court judgement is not being implemented”.

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