SC agrees to hear plea to delist parties failing to publish candidates’ criminal records

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking the delisting of political parties that do not publish their candidates’ criminal cases and the reason for their selection on their websites, PTI reported.

Barrister Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has urged a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli to enter the plea as a matter of urgency.

“Appointment for the first phase of [Assembly] the elections have started and the political parties and candidates are brazenly violating the two judgments of the supreme courts,” the lawyer said, as he sought instructions from the electoral commission on the matter.

The chief justice inquired whether those who had lawsuits against them could be barred from filing nominations, NDTV reported. “We will consider it [the plea],” he added. “I’ll give a date.”

The petition also asked for an instruction from the voting committee to ensure that political leaders publish details of cases against them in electronic, print and social media.

Upadhyay filed the plea after the Samajwadi party sent suspected gangster Nahid Hasan from Kairana Assembly to Uttar Pradesh without disclosing details of the cases against him.

“Nahid Hasan is in custody under the Gangsters Act which was imposed on him approximately 11 months ago and he is the first candidate to file his candidacy in the first phase of the Uttar Assembly elections Pradesh,” the plea alleged.

He added: “He has several criminal cases and is the mastermind behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are numerous criminal cases including fraud and extortion and was declared a fugitive by the MLA-MP special court.

In August, the Supreme Court ruled that all political parties must publish the criminal records of their election candidates within 48 hours of their selection.

It also fined eight political parties, including the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, for failing to make criminal records public.

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