In what can be quoted as a crucial verdict while the country is said to be rotting with the criminalisation of politics, Supreme Court on Thursday directed all the political parties to publish the criminal record of the candidates contesting in the polls. Setting a deadline of 48 hours, the Apex court also instructed the political parties to upload reasons for selecting candidates with pending criminal cases on their website.
On a contempt petition filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini K Upadhyay, a special bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman passed its directions under Article 142 of the Constitution. In the line of the new verdict, the political parties ought to justify the reason behind selecting the candidate despite the criminal record he or she holds. While most of the parties tend to claim winnability as one of the reasons, the Supreme Court stated that this shouldn’t be the only reason.
Meanwhile, this verdict didn’t seem to go well with YSRCP which reportedly topped the parties with a maximum number of indicates with a criminal record. According to the recent studies taken up the Andhra Pradesh Election Watch (APEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 97 YSRCP candidates i.e, 57% have criminal cases. On the other hand, studies by ‘Telangana Election Watch’, revealed that almost 50% of the candidates from TRS party face criminal cases. The irony is, Chief Ministers of both the Telugu states themselves are involved in various criminal cases.
It is quite common that various media houses run these findings based on the affidavits filed by the candidates, However, these are not on the official note, but are based on the data disclosed by the candidates. Nevertheless, the recent verdict passed by the Supreme Court brings the new hope of bringing down the criminalisation of politics.