‘No sorry, orders must be followed’: SC on poll hopefuls hiding criminal past

Prime News, National (New Delhi), July 21:- The Supreme Court on Tuesday said its order should have been followed as it heard contempt petitions over non-compliance of its February 2020 directions for electoral candidates to disclose criminal antecedents through wide publication.

The plea claimed these directions were not adhered during the Bihar Assembly election last year.

As counsel appearing for a political party tendered an unconditional apology, stating that this should not have happened and that there shouldn’t be criminalisation of politics, a bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and B.R. Gavai said: “We don’t buy this sorry; our orders have to be followed.”

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the Election Commission, submitted that the Nationalist Congress Party fielded 26 candidates with criminal antecedents and the CPI-M had fielded four candidates with criminal antecedents.

However, the Rashtriya Janata Dal is the biggest defaulter with 103 candidates having criminal antecedents, while the Janata Dal-United had fielded 56 such candidates and the BJP 77 candidates, he said.

“All (parties) have similar answers –he is a social worker etc. When a charge sheet for rape is filed, can a political party take a stand that it is justified, or that it is a false case?”

Singh proposed freezing and suspending the election symbol in case of violation by a national party. “In spite of bringing out criminal antecedents in the public domain, criminalisation of politics has gone up,” he submitted.

Senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi, appearing for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), submitted that the party had expelled a candidate after it learnt the candidate had failed to disclose criminal antecedents and also filed a false affidavit. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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