Publish criminal antecedents of party candidates within 48 hours of selection, says Supreme Court
The apex court delivered the judgment in the contempt petitions filed alleging failure to publish criminal antecedents of candidates in the Bihar Assembly elections held in November 2020.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued an order stating that political parties must publish the criminal antecedents of their candidates, if any, within 48 hours of their selection. The court has modified its direction from February 2020 judgment. In paragraph 4.4 of the February 2020 judgment, the apex court had ordered that details be published within 48 hours of the selection or not less than two weeks before the nominations' first date.
The bench, on Tuesday, said it changed paragraph 4.4 of the said judgment and made it as publication within 48 hours. It further passed specific additional directions.
The apex court delivered the judgment in the contempt petitions filed alleging failure to publish criminal antecedents of candidates in the Bihar Assembly elections held in November 2020. The petitions sought action against political parties for failing to obey the February 2020 order of the Supreme Court.
The February 2020 order stated that all political parties had to explain why they chose candidates with criminal cases and disclose details of the issues on their party website and the reasons for selecting such candidates. The election governing body had ordered parties to publish the information on candidates in newspapers as well.
For unaware, under the Representation of People Act, any MP or MLA convicted by a court and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than two years would be disqualified from contesting elections for the imprisoned period and a further period of years from their release. However, there is no provision of disqualification before the conviction.