In a significant judgment on Thursday, the Supreme Court has issued guidelines to curb criminalization in politics. The apex court has ordered the political parties to disclose the criminal records of their candidates within 48 hours. The top court has ordered the parties to submit a compliance report of the same to the Election Commission within 72 hours, failing which a contempt plea can be filed. The top court also added that the parties will state the reasons why a person with a criminal background was given a ticket and will have to publish the details of criminal cases of their candidates on their website, social media platforms, and local newspapers.
De-criminalisation of Politics contempt plea
While delivering the verdict, the bench comprising of Justice RF Nariman and Justice Ravindra Bhat the top court observed that there has been an alarming increase in criminalisation of politics in the last 4 elections. The court was hearing the contempt petitions filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and Ram Babu Singh Thakur. The Contempt plea was filed on the apex court’s September 2018 judgment directing political parties to publicise the criminal background and pending cases of their candidates, adding that it should also be mentioned in their nomination forms. However, the plea stated that the apex court’s direction was violated in the subsequent assembly elections and the 2019 General elections.