In yet another major verdict by the Supreme court , a Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has declined to interfere in a plea seeking to debar candidates facing criminal charges from contesting elections and has stated that MPs and MLAs would not be disqualified before conviction.
The top court left it to Parliament to frame up a relevant law to deal with the issue . The court said it is not in their purview to do so.
According to the SC judgment , citizens have the right to be informed about the antecedents of their candidates and directs that each candidate shall declare his/her criminal antecedents to the Election Commission in bold letters before contesting an election. The apex court said political parties shall be obligated to put all information about their candidates on their websites.
The SC has also directed wider publicity, through print and electronic media, antecedents of candidates affiliated to political parties.
The court said corruption has becomes a national economic terror, but candidates cannot be disqualified before the framing of charges. The court said that voters must be aware of the candidates’ criminal antecedents before they cast their vote.
The court had earlier dubbed criminalisation of politics as a “rot”, and said it may consider directing the Election Commission to ask political parties to get their members disclose criminal cases against them so that electors know how many “alleged crooks” are there in such parties.