The Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that politics was not confined to a few families in India, which had a population of 130 crore. All should get an opportunity to take part in politics, Justice N Kirubakaran further observed.
The judge was hearing a petition filed by S V Subbaiah of Coimbatore district, seeking a direction for submission of medical certificates of candidates contesting local body elections.
The court had earlier widened the scope of the plea and impleaded the Centre and the Election Commission (EC), observing that it could not be confined to the local body polls alone and was essential in the case of Assembly and parliamentary elections as well.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) G Rajagopalan, appearing on behalf of the Centre, sought ten days' time to file a counter as regards the steps taken by the government in this connection.
The judge observed that starting from the post of office assistants to the post of judges, medical fitness certificates were sought from candidates before entering service.
"Why is this not made mandatory for those who are instrumental for legislation of laws in the Assembly and Parliament? "Why should it not be made compulsory for candidates contesting elections to submit medical fitness certificates?," the judge asked.
The ASG submitted that the people were not bothered about the ailments of the candidates and that they voted on the basis of their poll symbols. Justice Kirubakaran then observed that most political parties were giving tickets to persons involved in various irregularities and offences, adding that this should come to an end.
Referring to former chief election commissioner TN Seshan, who had introduced several poll reforms, the judge said the EC should implement those reforms in their letter and spirit.
The ASG then submitted that in accordance with earlier orders of the High Court and the Supreme Court, various reforms were introduced and implemented by the Centre.
If the court passed an order in the matter, the Centre would consider changing the rules, the ASG said. The judge then posted the matter for further hearing to July 6.
The petitioner had sought a direction to call for the medical reports of candidates contesting local body polls to enable the voters to know about their health status.