Political parties must upload on their websites details of criminal cases against candidates and the reasons for selecting them, the Supreme Court said today, flagging an “alarming rise in the criminalisation of politics” in the last four national elections.
The Supreme Court said it would be mandatory for parties to upload the details on their websites and on social media within 48 hours.
Parties must submit the details within 72 hours to the Election Commission, the court said.
“The reason to select candidates should be based on merit and not winnability,” the top court directed.
If political parties failed to give the details, or the Election Commission was unable to implement the directive, it would be considered contempt of court, the judges said.
The verdict comes on contempt petitions filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and others.
In September 2018, a five-judge constitution bench had asked the central government to immediately enact laws to ban those involved in serious crimes from contesting elections and becoming party officials.