Supreme Court of India for declaration of criminal antecedents of candidates to Election Commission

Supreme Court of India for declaration of criminal antecedents of candidates to Election Commission

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday held that all candidates will have to declare their criminal antecedents to the Election Commission of India (ECI) before contesting an election, saying criminalisation of politics of the largest democracy is “unsettling”.nnA five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said that citizens have a right to be informed about the antecedents of their candidates.nnIn the unanimous verdict, the bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, said that political parties are obligated to put all the information about their candidates on their websites.nnIt asked the legislature to consider framing a law to ensure decriminalisation of politics.nnThe bench said that informed choice is the corner stone of democracy and termed criminalisation of politics of the largest democracy as “unsettling”.nnThe apex court favoured wider publicity, through print and electronic media about the antecedents of candidates affiliated to political parties.nnThe verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas raising a question whether lawmakers facing criminal trial can be disqualified from contesting elections at the stage of framing of charges against them.nnThe status before the filing of these petitions was that lawmakers were barred under the Representation of Peoples (RP) Act from contesting elections only after their conviction in a criminal case.nnThe verdict was reserved on August 28.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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