SC refuses to disqualify politicians with criminal charges
New Delhi:The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, refrained to disqualify the politicians with the criminal charges from contesting elections but asked the parties to post on their websites and publicise in the media full details of the criminal charges the candidates.
Pronouncing the judgment, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also urged Parliament to enact a law to address the malaise of criminals entering the legislature. Besides Misra, the Constitution bench comprised Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
“We are not in a position to add disqualification of candidates on filing of chargesheet in criminal cases,” Misra said, while reading out the order.
He also said this law should address fake cases being instituted against political opponents.
The court directed that:
- Each contesting candidate must state in bold the criminal cases pending against him/her in the forms to be filed up at the time of filing nomination papers.
- The candidate aspiring to contest an election would be required to inform the political party about the criminal cases pending against him.
- Political parties to put-up on their website the criminal antecedents of the candidates being fielded by them in the elections.
- Political parties and the candidate will give wide publicity of the criminal cases pending against the contesting candidate both in print and electronic media after filing their nomination papers.
The apex court said that it could not add any further disqualification to the law, it was now up to Parliament to make a law to prevent person with serious criminal cases from entering the legislature.
The Chief Justice wished that such a law might come sooner than later before criminalisation of politics sounds its death knell for democracy, it was required to cure the cancer of criminalisation of politics.