Display criminal antecedents of candidates, give reason for selection: SC tells political parties

By Ritu,

Capital Sands

The Supreme Court directed political parties to upload details candidates with criminal antecedents and the reason for their selection on their official websites, as per News18 alerts.

In its order on February 13, the SC said that criminalisation of politics is a grave issue requiring its attention. The court has ordered political parties to submit details of such candidates with the Election Commission within 72 hours of their selection.

“In the last four general elections, there has been an alarming rise in candidates with criminal antecedents,” the court noted and directed all political parties to upload on their websites the details of candidates with criminal antecedents.

Besides this, the court also ordered political parties to provide reasons for selecting candidates with criminal antecedents and explain why another candidate with no criminal passed could not be selected instead.

The SC also pointed out that the “ability to win by a candidate with criminal antecedents” cannot be the only justification furnished by the parties.

This comes after a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman on January 31 had reserved its order on a contempt plea about criminalisation of politics. The plea claimed the apex court’s September 2018 directions relating to disclosure of criminal antecedents by candidates contesting elections were not being followed.

In September 2018, a five-judge Constitutional bench unanimously held that all candidates would have to declare criminal antecedents to the EC before contesting polls. It also called for wider publicity, through print and electronic media about antecedents of such candidates.

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