SC Directs Political Parties to Publish Existing Criminal Records of their Candidates

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

The rise of criminals contesting in the last four elections is alarming, says Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court yesterday, February 13, said that the rise of criminals contesting in the previous four parliament elections is alarming. The judges observed that merit should be criteria in selecting the candidates against their winning chances with criminal records. These observations were made in the contempt petitions filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay and others.

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court had ordered the central government in September 2018 to enact laws to ban criminals from contesting elections. Since there was no such law passed by the central government even after one and a half years now, the petitioners have filed a contempt petition against the central government for not compiling the orders of the Supreme Court. Hearing the contempt petitions, the judges made the following observations.

  • The rise in criminals contesting the last four elections is alarming
  • The parties must upload the criminal records of the candidates on their website and the newspapers within 48 hours of selecting them
  • The political parties have to give reasons for selecting candidates with criminal records in the websites
  • As winnability is not the justification, the political parties have to provide specific reasons for selecting the candidates
  • Only  merits should be the criteria for selecting the candidates than winnability with their criminal records
  • If the political parties fail to furnish such details and election commission not able to implement the directive, it would be considered as contempt of court

Many political observers believe that even with such stringent orders of the Supreme Court for so many years, it is impossible to clean up the political space in India.

Also, they said everyone has to wait until the next election to see if these orders are implemented in letter and spirit by the election commission and the political parties.