Millennium Post

Political parties should not give tickets to candidates with criminal background: ECI

New Delhi: The EC told the Supreme Court Friday that its 2018 direction asking poll candidates to declare their criminal antecedents in the media has not helped curb criminalisation of politics, and suggested that political parties should be asked not to give tickets to those with criminal background.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat asked the Election Commission (EC) to come up with a framework within one week which can help curb criminalisation of politics in nation's interest.

It asked BJP leader and advocate-petitioner Ashiwini Upadhyay and the EC to sit together and come up with suggestions which would help curb criminalisation of politics.

In September 2018, a five-judge Constitution bench had unanimously held that all candidates will have to declare their criminal antecedents to the EC before contesting polls and called for a wider publicity, through print and electronic media about antecedents of candidates.

On October 10, 2018, the EC had issued notification regarding the amended Form-26 and directions to political parties and candidates for publication of criminal antecedents.

However, the plea filed by Upadhyay alleged that the EC neither amended the Election Symbol Order, 1968 nor the model code of conduct (MCC) so the said notification has no legal sanction.

The EC neither published a list of leading newspapers-news channels for the purpose nor clarified the timing for declaration of criminal antecedents by candidates, it said.

This led to the candidates publishing the required information in newspapers and news channels that were not very popular and at odd hours, it added.

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