Parliament should enact law to keep criminals away from contesting election: Supreme Court

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarifying its stand on the disqualification of lawmakers with criminal charges asked the Parliament to enact a law which will bar such politicians from contesting an election.

The Constitutional Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra was hearing several petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers even before their conviction in criminal cases to curb “criminalisation of politics” in the country. The Bench in its judgement said that the “Supreme Court is not in a position to add disqualification of candidates on the filing of chargesheet in criminal cases.”

The Bench which included Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra further asked the Parliament to make law to ensure candidates with criminal antecedents don’t enter public life and take part in law making. The Bench said, “National interest demands parliament enacts such legislation and the country awaits such a legislation.” Adding to the judgement CJI Mishra said, “It’s the responsibility of all to enforce the law.”

In a series of directives issued by the Supreme Court to ensure crime-free politics in India, the bench ordered the political parties to put up criminal antecedents of their candidates on their websites. The bench also ordered the Candidates who are contesting election to compulsory declare their criminal antecedents. The bench has also ordered the candidates that forms of Election Commission which are to be filled up by the candidates should contain detail about their criminal past and pending cases in bold letters. And finally, the Political parties should issue declaration and give wide publicity in electronic media about the antecedents of the candidates.

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