SC penalises all major political parties for criminalisation of politics

By: |
August 11, 2021 3:57 AM

Holding political parties — JD-U, RJD, Lok Janshakti Party, INC, BJP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party — guilty of contempt of its February 13, 2020 decision, a bench led by Justice R F Nariman said that parties “refuse to wake up from deep slumber”.

A bench led by Justice LN Rao while refusing to grant any relief to electricity distribution and trading company — Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) — said it will finally decide the matter in the second week of September.A bench led by Justice LN Rao while refusing to grant any relief to electricity distribution and trading company — Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL) — said it will finally decide the matter in the second week of September.

To check criminalisation of politics, the Supreme Court on Tuesday fined all major political parties, including the BJP and Congress, after holding them guilty of contempt for not disclosing criminal antecedents of candidates and reasons for selecting them during last year’s Bihar election.

It said that records of criminal cases have to be made public by parties within 48 hours of the candidate’s selection.
Holding political parties — JD-U, RJD, Lok Janshakti Party, INC, BJP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party — guilty of contempt of its February 13, 2020 decision, a bench led by Justice R F Nariman said that parties “refuse to wake up from deep slumber”.

Stressing on the need for amendments in law to check criminals entering into polity, it said that “a major surgery” was required for “weeding out the malignancy of criminalisation in politics”.

While the Congress, BJP and five more parties were fined `1 lakh each, the CPM and Nationalist Congress Party were fined Rs 5 lakh for not making public their candidates’ criminal cases ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls.

While stating that its appeals had “fallen on deaf ears,” the judges said “though we want to do something urgently, our hands are tied, we can’t encroach the domain of legislature”.

Among other directions, the court told the Election Commission to create a dedicated mobile application containing information published by candidates regarding their criminal antecedents, and carry out an extensive awareness campaign on voters’ right to know. It said the poll panel must create a separate cell to report on non-compliance by political parties.

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In an earlier ruling in February last year linked to the Bihar election, the Supreme Court had said candidates must upload details of cases against them either within 48 hours of their selection or at least two weeks before the first date of filing nomination papers.

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