SC to hear plea for action on parties that hide candidates' crimes
New Delhi, Jan 18: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India to deregister political parties that do not disclose details pertaining to criminal cases of their election candidates along with the reason for their selection.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli was urged by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, who has filed the PIL in his personal capacity, that the plea be listed urgently keeping in mind the ongoing election process.
"Nomination for the first phase of election has started and the political parties and candidates are brazenly violating the two apex court judgements," the lawyer said.
"We will consider it. I will give a date," the CJI said.
The PIL has also sought a direction to the poll panel to ensure that every politician publishes the details in electronic, print, and social media, and to file a contempt case against the president of the party which violates such directions.
The plea said the petition was filed after the Samajwadi Party, which is a registered and recognised political party, fielded alleged gangster Nahid Hasan from Kairana assembly in Uttar Pradesh but neither published his criminal records in electronic, print, or social media nor the reason of his selection within 48 hours in the spirit of the direction passed earlier by the Supreme Court.
"He has multiple criminal cases and is the mastermind behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are many criminal cases including fraud and extortion and was declared a fugitive by Special MLA-MP Court," the plea alleged.
The consequences of permitting criminals to contest become legislators are extremely serious for democracy and secularism, it added.
The petition, in view of upcoming assembly elections, also sought a direction to the ECI to ensure that every political party explains why it preferred a person with criminal cases and did not select a candidate without criminal antecedents.