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