Supreme Court has asked political parties to give reasons as to why they field candidates with criminal antecedents and also display related matter on their websites
Bengaluru: In what comes as a massive development and an attempt by the top court of the country, it has made compulsory for all political parties to cite reasons as they field candidates with criminal antecedents in general and assembly polls.
The order came by a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman.
The court observed that there was an "alarming" rise in candidates with criminal charges and added that it was high time the top court uses its extraordinary powers in the interest of informed citizenry.
Furthermore, the top court has also directed all parties to display all details of candidates with their criminal antecedents on their websites.
It is to be noted that the apex court said that cases where candidates have been charged by a court of law must be specifically identified, the court also added details must also include academic qualifications and other background details.
Interestingly, the court also asked the parties to give an explanation as to why those without criminal antecedents couldn't be selected.
Coming down hard on the criterion of winnability, the top court said that it can’t be the sole yardstick to select a candidate. The court added that these details must also be released on social media platforms that the political parties use.
All such information has to be made public within 48 hours of selection of these candidates or within a reasonable time before filing of their nomination. The court further directed that the parties must also submit details of these candidates with the Election Commission of India within 72 hours of their selection.
The court warned that failure to comply with the court orders will be liable for contempt of court and that the EC could approach the court in case of non-compliance.
Of the many petitioners to the top court who had expressed grave concerns over political parties not complying with its earlier order, advocate and BJP member Ashwini Upadhyay was also one.
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Last Updated Feb 13, 2020, 11:56 AM IST