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Supreme Court orders political parties to publish criminal records of their candidates

The Supreme Court said that political parties will have to explain the reason if they give electoral tickets to a person with a criminal background.

Feb 13, 2020 13:25 IST
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The Supreme Court has ordered all political parties to state the reason for giving election tickets to criminal record holders. Supreme Court ordered on February 13, 2020, that political parties have to upload details of criminal cases against candidates on their websites.

Supreme Court said that it is flagging an "alarming rise in the criminalization of politics" in four previous national-level elections. As per the Supreme Court’s order, political parties have to upload all the details within 48 hours.

Supreme Court’s Order

• The Supreme Court’s bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and S. Ravindra Bhat also said that all parties will have to upload the criminal record of their candidates on the official Facebook and Twitter handles. 
• The apex court warned that contempt action can be taken if this order is not followed. 
• The Supreme Court said that if political parties give electoral tickets to a person with a criminal background, then the parties will also explain the reason for this. Political parties will have to tell why they could not give an election ticket to a flawless candidate?
• If there is no case against any leader or candidate and no FIR is lodged, then he also has to give information about it. 
• If any leader does not provide true information then the Election Commission can take action against him and can also inform the Supreme Court.

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Deadline of 48 Hours

According to the Supreme Court’s order, it is mandatory for all the political parties to submit their response on their official websites and social media handles within 48 hours. All political parties must submit the information and details of their criminal candidates within 72 hours to the Election Commission of India.

Background
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had asked the union government in September 2018 to enact laws to put a ban on those involved in serious crimes. The bench also asked the government to avoid such candidates from contesting elections and becoming party officials.

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