In the spirit of the apex court judgement, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the Election Commission of India to take steps to ensure that every political party publishes the details of each candidate’s criminal cases, along with a reason for such selection, on the Home Page of its official website.
The petition asked the ECI to de-register the political party that had disobeyed the Supreme Court’s orders. It also asked the ECI to direct that every political party explain why it chose a candidate with criminal antecedents over a candidate with no criminal antecedents within 48 hours.
The ECI was also urged by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to ensure that every political party publishes criminal cases within 48 hours in electronic, print, and social media, and to file a contempt case against the President whose party violates the apex court’s directions.
Political parties were ordered to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, as well as the reasons for fielding suspected criminals over decent people, in Supreme Court judgments issued in 2018 and 2020. Nahid Hasan is the first candidate to file a nomination in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, despite being detained under the Gangster Act, which was imposed on him around 11 months ago.
Shamli Police imposed the Gangster Act on Nahid Hasan, a two-time MLA from Kairana, on February 13, 2021. He is the mastermind behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana and has multiple criminal cases against him. There are numerous criminal cases against him, including fraud and extortion, and he has been declared a fugitive by the Special MLA-MP Court,” the plea stated.
The consequences of allowing criminals to run for office and become legislators are extremely serious for democracy and secularism, as they not only use massive amounts of illegal money to sway the outcome of elections, but they also intimidate voters and rival candidates, according to the plea. Legislators with criminal records trying to thwart the administration of justice by any means necessary to keep cases against them from being completed and, where possible, to obtain acquittals.
Long delays in the resolution of cases involving sitting MPs and MLAs, as well as low conviction rates, attest to their power. Political parties were ordered to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections as part of Supreme Court rulings in 2018 and 2020 along with the reasons for fielding suspected criminals over decent people.
The information should be published in a local and national newspaper, as well as on the social media accounts of the parties. It must be published within 48 hours of the candidates’ selection or less than two weeks before the first deadline for filing nominations, whichever comes first. The nature of a candidate’s criminal antecedents should be detailed, including the nature of the offences, charges brought against him, the court involved, case number, and so on.