Increasing Criminalization in Politics

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Increasing Criminalization in Politics

Increasing Criminalization in Politics

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has directed that all political parties have to make public their criminal details within 48 hours of the selection of their candidates.

  • It is to be noted that the SC was hearing a contempt petition. In this petition, during the Bihar assembly elections in the year 2020, various political parties had alleged willful disobedience of the orders of the court.
  • The Supreme Court had issued an order in February 2020. In this, the SC made it mandatory for all political parties to publish information about pending criminal cases against their candidates and the reasons for their selection in their websites and at least two newspapers.

Other directions passed by the Supreme Court

  • Political parties will have to publish information regarding past offenses of their selected candidates on the homepage of their website.
  • A separate cell will be set up by the Election Commission of India to oversee the compliance of the SC’s directions.
  • In case of non-compliance by a political party, the Election Commission shall bring it to the notice of the Court as contempt of the orders/directions of the Court.
  • SC has directed the Election Commission to create a dedicated mobile application in which criminal details of candidates will be made available. Voters will have easy access to such information through this app.
  • There are many forms of criminalization of politics, such as: criminal cases pending against a large number of elected representatives, booth capturing, non-serious candidates participating in the election process, tampering of electoral rolls, other voting irregularities etc.
  • In addition, it has also been directed by the Supreme Court that a criminal case against an MP or MLA can be withdrawn only after obtaining the concurrence of the High Court of the State concerned.
  • The Court has also commented on the abuse of power by the State Governments under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). This section authorizes a prosecutor to demand the withdrawal of a criminal case against an accused.

Source – Hindu

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