A petition that sought to debar persons convicted in criminal cases from contesting elections or floating political parties was rejected by the Supreme Court of India. The plea also sought that those convicted be barred from heading a political party.
A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra sought to know how far could the courts go in such matters. Let the government and Parliament look into this, the Bench said.
Further, the Bench also observed, " can we stop a convicted person from heading a political party? Will not be incongruent with the right to free speech? Can the court restrain a convicted person from propagating his political views?"
The petitioner cited the examples of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sasikala, O P Chautala and said at present a person convicted for serious criminal offences can float and head political parties despite being barred from contesting the elections.