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'Cannot bar convicted person from heading political party', Centre tells SC

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The Centre has told the Supreme Court that a convicted person cannot be barred from holding a post in a political party. Such a person cannot be barred from indulging in political activity the Centre also said. 

    Cannot bar convicted person from heading political party, Centre tells SC

    A petition was filed in the court seeking a directive to the Election Commission of India not to recognise a party headed by a convicted person. In an affidavit, the Centre said that it is conscious of electoral reforms to curb criminalisation of politics.

    The Centre further said, "Having regard to the existing provisions of law relating to registration of political part, there does not appear any connectivity and nexus between the situations debarring the persons disqualified under Representation of People's Act and/or convicted under criminal law from contesting an election to Parliament or state legislatures vis-a-vis debarring such persons from forming or becoming a member of any political party."

    Appointment of post-holder to a political party is a matter of party autonomy and it may not be opposed to preclude the Election Commission from registering a political party merely because a particular post-holder is not qualified to contest elections," the affidavit also stated.

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