ECI welcomes SC order on candidates with criminal history

A day after the Supreme Court ordered political parties to publish details of candidates’ criminal antecedents, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday welcomed the ruling, saying it would reiterate its instructions to parties regarding the same.

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all political parties to upload the details of criminal cases against candidates on their websites and social media accounts, as well as publish the same in one local newspaper and one national newspaper within 48 hours of the candidates’ selection or two weeks before nominations are filed, whichever is earlier. The parties have to also submit compliance reports to the ECI within 72 hours of the selection of candidates.

“Election Commission of India wholeheartedly welcomes this landmark order, which is bound to go a long way in setting new moral yardsticks for overall betterment of electoral democracy,” the ECI said in a statement.

The ECI had issued instructions, along with an amended form of affidavit, on October 10, 2018 for “ensuring publicity of criminal antecedents by the candidates and the concerned political parties for the information of voters”, the statement said.

This had been implemented in all elections conducted since November 2018, it said.

“Now, Commission proposes to reiterate these instructions with suitable modifications in order to implement the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court in letter as well as in spirit,” it noted.


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