Legal and political experts on Thursday mentioned the Election Commission might do extra to cease the criminalisation of politics, throughout a webinar on the implementation of the Supreme Court’s February 2020 instructions to political events on publicising legal antecedents of candidates.
Former Supreme Court decide, Justice Madan B. Lokur mentioned with the belief that political events wouldn’t cooperate, the EC and the judiciary must play their elements. He mentioned the EC had “vast powers”, together with underneath Article 324 of the Constitution.
“All kinds of things are possible if the EC applies its mind to it. It has the power to say that persons accused of crimes cannot stand elections,” Justice Lokur mentioned on the on-line ineteraction organised by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
SC order ignored
The Supreme Court had ordered events to publish particulars of candidates with pending legal instances and the explanation why they might not have chosen a candidate with out such a file. However, in response to ADR, the SC’s order and the next pointers issued by the EC haven’t been adopted totally.
Justice Lokur mentioned it was his guess that the EC had not introduced it to the Supreme Court’s discover that events had not complied with the order. He added that the position of the judiciary was additionally vital as instances stay pending for years and that it was the judiciary’s accountability to resolve the instances expeditiously.
While stating that the SC’s instructions had been well-meaning, he added “they are not capable of being implemented” and that “judgments have to be pragmatic”.
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, an All-India Trinamool Congress MP, mentioned he, too, carried the “stigma” of having a pending case. A case of legal contempt had been pending against him since 2010 that he needed to point out in every election affidavit filed since, he mentioned. Mr. Ray mentioned the EC ought to concern show-cause notices to events if it finds the explanations they offer for choosing a candidate with legal antecedents “not in consonance with the intent or purport” of the SC’s order.
“The EC has the tremendous power of suspending the registration of a party. The buck cannot be passed to the SC or ADR or other social activists,” he mentioned.
Note of warning
Former Chief Election Commission O.P. Rawat, nevertheless, mentioned he didn’t agree with the suggestion that the EC ought to use its plenary energy, which must be used within the case of a authorized void, on this context. He mentioned the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Indian Penal Code and different provisions had been obtainable to satisfy the problem.
Citing the SC, he mentioned the EC had “no locus standi to enter the political process per se”. He mentioned the investigation and trial of instances must be expedited and there must be an effort to disseminate data to voters.
Alok Prasanna, co-founder of Vidhi Karnataka, a suppose tank doing authorized analysis, mentioned there was a piece of voters that didn’t thoughts candidates with legal antecedents. “There is no concept of electoral reform without judicial and police reforms,” he mentioned.