The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to disqualify candidates facing criminal charges from contesting elections and asked Parliament to enact a law instead.
While hearing a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of candidates with criminal cases pending against them from contesting polls, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said Parliament must ensure that people with serious criminal charges do not enter politics.
The apex court said that candidates and political leaders, with criminal cases pending against them, have to inform their respective political parties about their criminal records. It also asked the political parties to display the criminal records of its leaders on its website.
The top court also directed that each candidate has to fill up the form of the Election Commission and declare whether any criminal case is pending against them.
“The Supreme Court said each candidate will also submit details to the Election Commission and they will upload it on the website. The court said that the candidates must submit their criminal records to their respective political parties that will publish it on electronic, print and local media, at least three times before the polling date,” lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay told agencies.
“We had demanded from the Supreme Court to ward off candidates from contesting polls against whom charges have been framed in heinous crimes. Validating our demand, the court has directed Parliament to pass a law that can stop criminalisation of politics,” he added.