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Information about candidates with criminal antecedents should be made public thrice during campaign: ECI
Image Credit: PIB

Information about candidates with criminal antecedents should be made public thrice during campaign: ECI

| @indiablooms | 16 Mar 2024, 10:09 pm

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India today said that candidates with criminal antecedents are required to publish information in this regard in newspapers and through television channels on three occasions during the campaign period.

“A political party that nominates candidates with criminal antecedents is also required to publish information about their criminal background, both on its website and also in newspapers and television channels on three occasions,” the Commission said while announcing the schedule for General Elections 2024.

This will give sufficient time to electors to know about the background of their candidate for whom they are voting.

The Commission said citing its letter dated 16th September, 2020, that the period specified will be decided with three blocks in such a manner so that electors have sufficient time to know about the background of such candidates.

It should be done: i) Within the first 4 days of the date of withdrawal of Nominations; ii) Between the next 5th- 8th days; From the 9th day till the last day of the campaign (the second day before the date of a poll).

Giving an illustration for the same, the Commission said, “If the last date for withdrawal is 10th of the month and poll is on 24th of the month, the first block for publishing of declaration shall be done between 11th and 14th of the month, second and third blocks shall be between 15th and 18th and 19th and 22nd of that month, respectively.”

The Commission said that this requirement is in pursuance of the judgment of the Supreme Court in two different judgements –Writ Petition(C) No. 784 of 2015 (Lok Prahari Vs. Union of India & Others) and Writ Petition(Civil) No. 536 of 2011 (Public Interest Foundation & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Anr).

The Commission also said that in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s order dated 13th February, 2020 in Contempt Petition (C)No. 2192 of 2018 in WP(C) No. 536 of 2011, it is mandatory for political parties, both at the Central and State election level, to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases.

This should include the nature of the offences, and relevant particulars such as whether charges have been framed, the concerned court, the case number etc., candidates, who have been selected, along with the reasons for such selection, and also why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

(With UNI inputs)

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