The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Parliament must ensure that people with serious criminal charges do not enter politics. The apex court refused to disqualify candidates facing criminal charges from contesting elections and asked Parliament to enact a law instead.
#FLASH | Time has come for Parliament to keep criminals away, states #SupremeCourt but refuses to disqualify politicians against whom criminal charges are pending from contesting polls; directs parties to publish on their websites/media criminal past of candidates fighting polls. pic.twitter.com/bAsMuvsl2g
— NEWS LIVE (@NewsLiveGhy) September 25, 2018
While hearing a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of candidates with criminal cases pending against them from contesting polls, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that candidates and political leaders, with criminal cases pending against them, have to inform their respective political parties about their criminal records. It also asked the political parties to display the criminal records of its leaders on its website.
The Supreme Court said each candidate will also submit details to the Election Commission and they will upload it on the website. The court said that the candidates must submit their criminal records to their respective political parties and asked the political parties to publish it on electronic, print and local media, at least three times before the polling date.
The top court also directed that each candidate has to fill up the form of Election Commission and declare whether any criminal case is pending against them.
“We had demanded from the Supreme Court to ward off candidates from contesting polls against whom charges have been framed in heinous crimes. Validating our demand, the court has directed Parliament to pass a law that can stop criminalization of politics,” said lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.