News18»Politics
2-MIN READ

BJP Among Parties Flouting SC Order on Giving Tickets to Those with Criminal Cases: Report

All major parties contesting in Bihar elections.

All major parties contesting in Bihar elections.

The Supreme Court, in its directions in February, had asked political parties to give reasons for selecting candidates with criminal background and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

auther-image

Suhas Munshi

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Sunday said of all the political parties contesting Bihar assembly polls, only JDU, RJD, Congress and CPI(M-L) had complied with the guidelines issued by Supreme Court mandating political parties to upload detailed information regarding candidates with pending criminal cases on their websites. Without mentioning BJP, the poll rights group implied that the ruling national party violated directions of the Apex Court.

The Supreme Court, in its directions in February, had asked political parties to give reasons for selecting candidates with criminal background and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

The poll body in its statement said "most of the reasons given by political parties," for giving tickets to people with criminal cases pending against them, "are not rational and justified as clearly directed by the Supreme Court in its order dated 13th February 2020."

"In phase 1 and 2 of the Assembly elections, political parties fielded 33 per cent of candidates with declared criminal cases against themselves. This shows a complete disregard of the SC and ECI directions by the political parties. Such unfounded and baseless reasons given by political parties like 'popularity' of the person, 'does good social work,' 'cases are politically motivated' etc are not sound and cogent reasons for fielding candidates with tainted backgrounds," said ADR chief Maj Gen Anil Verma (Retd.).

According to a report detailing candidates with criminal antecedents, RJD topped the list as 30 (73 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the RJD have declared criminal cases against themselves and 22 (54 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Followed by BJP, about 21 (72 per cent) out of 29 candidates analysed from the saffron party have declared criminal cases against themselves and 13 (45 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. At least 24 (59 per cent) out of 41 candidates analysed from the LJP have declared criminal cases against themselves and 20 (49 per cent) have declared serious criminal cases.

About 12 (57 per cent) out of 21 candidates analysed from the Congress, 15 (43 per cent) out of 35 candidates analysed from the JD(U) and eight (31 per cent) out of 26 candidates analysed from the BSP have declared criminal cases.

"The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in the selection of candidates as they have followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 31 per cent candidates with criminal cases. All major parties contesting in Bihar phase I elections have given tickets to 31 per cent to 70 per cent candidates who have declared criminal cases," said Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member and trustee of ADR. The data collected by ADR suggested that "political parties have no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawbreakers who become lawmakers," Chhokar added.

Following the apex court verdict, the EC, in an order passed on September 16, 2020, said that “details regarding criminal cases are to be published on three occasions during the campaign period.” The first round of publicity has to be done “within the first 4 days of withdrawal” of nomination papers. The particulars have to be mentioned in bold letters, in at least 12 point font size."


Next Story
Loading...