Supreme Court rejects plea for allow criminals to contest elections
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has strongly rebuffed the Election Commission during a hearing on a petition demanding lifelong bans on contesting the election of MPs or MLAs convicted. The apex court asked the Election Commission to clarify its stand in this case. When the Election Commission advocate Naveen Sinha told the court that the Commission supports the petitioner's petition against criminalization of politics, then a bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Naveen Sinha said, "This is in the jurisdiction of the Election Commission, if you do not want to remain independent and are constrained by the legislature, then you can say so.
The bench said, "When a citizen comes to the Election Commission about the demand for lifelong ban on fighting the election of MPs or MLAs, then what is the option to remain silent?" You can answer in 'yes' or 'no'. How can you keep silence? After reading a paragraph of the answer to the Election Commission, the bench made this comment, which supports the petition for lifelong ban on contesting the elections of convicted MPs or MLAs. The lawyer however said that the said paragraph should not be separated and should be read as part of the full response to the commission.
The court made these remarks during the hearing of the Public Interest Litigation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, in which he had to face life imprisonment for contesting elections of convicted MPs or MLAs and hearing against MPs or MLAs accused in criminal cases. He has demanded the formation of special courts.