"First publicity: Within the first 4 days of the last date of withdrawal. Second publicity: Within the 5th to 8th day of the last date of withdrawal. Third publicity: From 9th day till the last day of campaign, i.e. two days prior to date of poll," the EC said.
The Election Commission on Friday decided to revise the timeline for publicity of criminal antecedents by candidates concerned and by the political parties that nominate them for elections. As per the revised guidelines, the candidates as well as the political parties will publish the details of criminal antecedents, if any, in newspapers and television three times.
“First publicity: Within the first 4 days of the last date of withdrawal. Second publicity: Within the 5th to 8th day of the last date of withdrawal. Third publicity: From 9th day till the last day of campaign, i.e. two days prior to date of poll,” the EC said, adding that this timeline will help the voters in exercising their choices in a more informed manner.
The revised guidelines will also be applicable on uncontested winner candidates. “…uncontested winner candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them shall also publicise the criminal antecedents, if any, as prescribed for other contesting candidates and political parties,” the commission said.
The EC said that a compendium of all instructions and formats issued so far, in this matter, was being published for the benefit of stakeholders. It further said that all instructions, in this regard, must be complied by the contesting candidates with criminal antecedents and the political parties regarding their nominated candidates. “These modified instructions shall apply with immediate effect,” the EC said.
In February this year, the Supreme Court had ordered all political parties to publish the criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The court directed that it shall be mandatory for political parties to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases who have been selected as candidates, along with the reasons for such selection, as also as to why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
“The reasons as to selection shall be with reference to the qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned, and not mere ‘winnability’ at the polls,” the court had ordered. The EC had welcomed the move and issued notification in this regard.