The Apex Court on 13th February, 2020 (Thursday) has directed all the political parties to upload all the records and details of the criminality against their candidates in regard to the Parliamentary and Assembly elections. In furtherance, the political parties on their websites also need to upload the reasons for the selection of people of the foregoing criminal records. The move has directed all the parties to publish the details within 48 hours from the 13th February, 2020. Any sort of credentials, achievements and criminal antecedents of the candidates need to go on the websites.
The Court's order was given on a contempt petition filed by the BJP leader and Lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay. The petition stated that the directions given by the court in it's September 25th, 2018 verdict on Public Interest Foundation v. Union Of India (on the disclosure of criminal antecedents by the poll candidates) are not being followed.
The order stated that the political parties after having cleared the names of the candidates must further submit a report - in fact, compliance reports before the Election Commission (EC) regarding the publication within 24 hours after the nomination of the candidate. The parties will be held liable for contempt if they fail to comply with the order passed. Further to which the Election Commision has been asked to file a contempt petition in the Apex court if the political parties fail to comply with the directives.
The order has been passed by a division bench comprising Justices Ravindra Bhat and R.F. Nariman.
Author - Dyuti Pandya