SC fines political parties for failing to disclose criminal cases against candidates | India News

SC fines political parties for failing to disclose criminal cases against candidates | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday imposed a fine on political parties, including the BJP and the Congress, for not making public the criminal cases against their candidates.
The top court has fined CPM and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) a sum of Rs 5 lakh for not following its order in the 2020 Bihar elections.
Other parties such as Congress, BJP, Communist Party of India, JD(U), RJD and LJP have been fined Rs 1 lakh each.
The court also said the parties are required to publish the details of such candidates on their websites within 48 hours of selection and not prior to two weeks before the first date of filing of nominations.
The Supreme Court observed the menace of criminalisation in the Indian political system is growing day by day.
In its order, the top court said it has time and again appealed to the lawmakers to take steps for bringing out necessary amendments so that the involvement of those with criminal antecedents in politics is prohibited.
“All these appeals have fallen on the deaf ears. The political parties refuse to wake up from deep slumber. However, in view of the constitutional scheme of separation of powers, though we desire that something urgently requires to be done in the matter, our hands are tied and we cannot transgress into the area reserved for the legislative arm of the state,” the court said.
It said that it hoped that lawmakers will “wake up soon” and carry out a “major surgery” for weeding out the malignancy of criminalisation in politics.
Earlier today, the apex court said that no criminal cases against sitting and former MPs and MLAs can be withdrawn by state governments without prior orders from the state high courts.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking a direction to debar those convicted MLAs and MPs from contesting elections for life.
“No criminal case against sitting (former) MPs and MLAs can be withdrawn by the State Govts without prior orders from the state high court,” a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana and also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Vineet Saran said today.
The bench also ordered that special courts judges, hearing cases against the MPs and MLAs, will not be transferred until further orders.
It directed the registrar generals of all the high courts to provide information, in a particular format, about the cases decided by special courts against the lawmakers. It also sought the details of pending cases and their stages before the trial courts.
(With inputs from agencies)

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