Political parties should not give tickets to tainted people who are capable of winning elections: Supreme Court

Reasons for rendering tickets to criminal candidate should be given by the party: Supreme Court

Court issued guidelines to stop candidates having criminal records from contesting elections

New Delhi, February 13: The Supreme Court has expressed concern over criminalization in politics. The court has said that political parties should not give tickets to tainted people only on the basis of winning ability. If they give tickets to tainted people, they will have to publicly state the reason for this. The Supreme Court has issued a guideline to prevent tainted people from contesting elections.

In its guidelines, the Supreme Court has said that political parties will upload criminal information of tainted people on their website within 48 hours as soon as they decide their candidature. The nature of the crime of candidates and the charges against them will have to be reported on the website. They will also have to tell on their website why they are giving tickets to candidates. While giving information about the candidates, it should not be said that they have the ability to win the election.

The Supreme Court has said that political parties will upload criminal records of candidates on a local newspaper, a national newspaper, and on their party’s social media pages like Facebook, Twitter. The Supreme Court has said in its guidelines that political parties will have to file a report on compliance of this order of the court with the Election Commission. If they do not file a compliance report, the Election Commission can file a contempt case against them in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had on January 31  last reserved the order. The petition sought to publish the information of the ongoing cases against the candidates in the media and the website of the political party.

Earlier on January 24, while hearing the Supreme Court had made a strong comment on the criminalization in politics, it was necessary to do something about it.

Justices RF Nariman and Justice Ravindra Bhatt had directed the Election Commission to sit down with the petitioner’s lawyers and prepare a proposal to stop the criminalization.

During the hearing, the Election Commission had said that in 2018, the court had asked the candidates to declare their criminal records in electronic and print media. The Election Commission had said that the criminal record declared by the candidates had not helped in stopping the criminalization of politics. The Commission had suggested that instead of declaring criminal records from the candidates in the media, candidates whose previous record was criminal, should be denied tickets.

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