Supreme Court Imposes Fine On 8 Political Parties For Violating Directions To Publish Criminal Antecedents Of Candidates In Bihar Polls

The Supreme Court imposed fine on eight political parties for committing contempt of court by flouting the directions in its February 2020 judgment for publication of the criminal antecedents of candidates during the Bihar assembly polls last year.

Rupees Five Lakhs each are imposed as fine on Communist Party of India( Marxist) and National Congress Party. Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, Janta Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal(United), Communist Party of India and Lok Janshakti Party were directed to pay fine of Rupees One Lakh each.

The court observed that CPI(M) and NCP haven’t in the least complied with the directions issued by it in January 2020.

The following directions were issued by the Court in its order passed in February last year:

Each contesting candidate shall refill the shape as provided by the committee and therefore the form must contain all the particulars as needed therein.

It shall state, in bold letters, with reference to the criminal cases pending against the candidate.

If a candidate is contesting an election on the ticket of a specific party, he/she is required to tell the party about the criminal cases pending against him/her.

The party concerned shall be obligated to place abreast of its website the aforesaid information concerning candidates having criminal antecedents.

The candidate also because the party concerned shall issue a declaration within the widely circulated newspapers within the locality about the antecedents of the candidate and also give wide publicity in the electronic media.

When we say wide publicity, we mean that an equivalent shall be done a minimum of thrice after filing of the nomination papers.

The contempt petition was filed alleging that these directives were flouted by political parties during elections that were held to the Bihar legislature in October/November, 2020

The court noted that CPI(M) and NCP are the 2 parties who has not submitted the shape C7 or C8 for any of its candidates and thus is fully non-compliant.

Court observed “we are of the view an oversight on a part of the State Committee of the party can’t be a ground for non-compliance of the directions gone by this Court. This being the case, the Respondent No. 8 is in contempt of the Order dated 13.02.2020”.

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