Publish details of tainted candidates:SC to parties

3 min read

News:Supreme Court has ordered Political Parties to publish criminal history of Lok Sabha, Assembly candidates.

Facts:

About the petition:

  • The petition claimed the Election commission had failed to take any steps to ensure the implementation of a 2018 SC judgment which had made it mandatory for political parties to declare and publish all criminal cases pending against their candidate
  • In 2004, 24% of members of Parliament(MPs) had criminal cases pending against them.In 2009, that went up to 30%, in 2014 to 34% and in 2019 as many as 43% of MPs had criminal cases pending against them.

About the Supreme Court verdict:

  • The political parties should upload details of candidates with criminal background on their official website.
  • The details of the candidates with criminal background should be published in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and on social media pages of the political party.
  • The website of the party should also give reasons on why the candidates are being fielded for election.
  • Ability of a candidate to win elections should not be the reason furnished for fielding the candidate.
  • Political parties should furnish a compliance report with the Election Commission about compliance with the court’s directions.
  • Contempt proceedings can be initiated against a political party for failing to file compliance reports.

Other Judgements of Supreme Court:

  • Union of India (UOI) vs. Association for Democratic Reforms,2002: The Supreme Court made it mandatory for candidates to submit an affidavit with full disclosure of criminal cases, if any and details of their assets and income.
  • Lily Thomas v. Union of India,2013:The court ruled that any MP, MLA or MLC who is convicted of a crime and given a minimum of two year imprisonment loses membership of the House with immediate effect.
  • People’s Union For Civil Liberties v. Union Of India,2013: The Supreme Court had ruled that a None of the Above (NOTA) option to be provided in EVMs.