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Parties Must Publish Criminal Records Of Candidates Within 48 Hrs Of Selection: SC

The top court also said that criminal cases against MLAs or MPs cannot be withdrawn without approval from High Courts.

In a big step towards decriminalising politics, the Apex Court today said political parties must make criminal records of their poll candidates public within 48 hours of their selection.

The Supreme Court, in a move to stop state governments from misusing their powers, also said that criminal cases against MLAs or MPs cannot be withdrawn without approval from High Courts.

The top court, in an earlier ruling ruling in February last year linked to the Bihar election in November, had said that candidates must upload these details either within 48 hours of their selection or at least two weeks before the first date of filing nomination papers. That has now been limited to only 48 hours.

The Supreme Court has been hearing petition that has demanded for the suspension of the symbol of political parties that do not disclose criminal backgrounds of their candidates. The petition has also sought contempt proceedings against political parties for not obeying the February 2020 orders of the Supreme Court.

The order had affirmed that all political parties had to explain why they chose candidates with criminal cases and disclose details of the cases on their party website along with the reasons for selecting such candidates.

After the verdict, the Election Commission had directed political parties to publish this information on candidates in newspapers.

 

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