On Monday, the Supreme Court of India refused to entertain a plea seeking a ban on people with criminal antecedents from contesting elections.
A bench comprising Hon’ble Justice L Nageshwara Rao, Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta and Hon’ble Justice Ajay Rastogi observed that the instant issue was the domain of the parliament and it was open to the petitioner to pursue other remedies available in order to implement the directions issued by the Supreme Court in this regard.
Advocate SN Shukla who was representing Lok Prahari submitted that the Court should declare the candidature of those people null and void who have been charge-sheeted for over a year and have been convicted with imprisonment for more than five years.
However, the Bench told Advocate Shukla that the Court had dealt with the exact question in 2014, which was then referred to the Law Commission.
Advocate Shukla then placed reliance on a 2018 judgement where directions were made for necessary amendments to Form 26 of Rule 4A of Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 which required that the candidates should declare their as well as their associates’ sources of income on affidavit.
He further submitted that the government had taken no steps in accordance with the Public Interest Foundation of India vs UOI to make sure that persons with criminal background should not contest elections.
After the Bench refused to entertain the petition, Advocate Shukla remarked that the parliament would make sure that such a law is never passed. He said the majority of parliament has criminals and the law will never be passed as the criminals have already crossed the 33% mark in the parliament.