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Opinion

South Carolina Petition Complains Lack of Publicity of Bihar Poll Candidates’ Criminal Past

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A contempt petition has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) against the Chief Elections Commissioner (CEC) and prominent political parties in the fray in the Bihar assembly elections, which concluded on November 7, for allegedly disobeying the mandatory direction of the supreme court. widely publicize the criminal records of the candidates who had run for the polls.

Brajesh Singh, a lawyer based in Nalanda, moved the SC, seeking contempt negotiations against the CCA Sunil Arora, Electoral Director (CEO) of Bihar HR Srinivas, KC Tyagi of the ruling Janata Dal (United), Jagdanand Singh of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Abdul Khalik from the Loktantrik Janta Party (LJP), Randeep Singh Surjewala from the Indian National Congress (INC) and BL Santhosh from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The petition has accused these political parties of failing to comply with the order to publicize the criminal records of candidates in widely circulated newspapers, social media platforms and their respective websites.

The CS had given this address on February 13 when deciding on a contempt petition urging political parties to comply with the law established by a constitutional court of five judges in September 2018, which had ordered candidates to disclose their cases mandatory. penalties before the polls.

In February, the higher court had ordered what the form and content of such disclosure should be. He even demanded that political parties provide compelling reasons for selecting people with criminal records.

The contempt petition stated that most of the political parties published details of the criminal cases against their candidates in newspapers of lesser circulation rather than in the main Bihar dailies.

According to the petition, this amounted to contempt of court orders, which required that advertising be done through newspapers with wide circulation and that, too, at least three times after the presentation of the nomination papers of a contaminated candidate.

The petition noted that “the political parties mainly published the criminal records of their candidates on their websites and in some newspapers with lesser circulation and some in a limited way on social media, but no one got it published in any national newspaper according to the instructions. of the superior court. ”.

The petition also indicated that some political parties presented candidates with dozens of criminal cases against them, including serious crimes. Such a blatant violation of the SC leadership was to flout the high court order, which had sought to create checks and balances when nominating a candidate.

A survey, conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-partisan non-governmental organization (NGO) working in the area of ​​electoral and political reforms, revealed that of the 241 candidates elected in the 243-member of the Assembly Newly constituted Bihar, 163 have criminal cases pending against them.

The figure means that 68% of elected legislators are contaminated. Of this 68%, more than 50% or 123 legislators have serious criminal cases pending against them, such as murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and crimes against women. In Bihar’s previous legislative assembly, 142 legislators were contaminated.

Hindustan Times

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