SC dismisses plea seeking contempt proceedings against heads of parties

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha said the Election Commission is the competent authority in the matter

Supreme Court of India. File Pic

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against heads of political parties for not following its directions to prevent criminalisation of politics in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls held earlier this year.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha said the Election Commission is the competent authority in the matter.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by an advocate Brajesh Singh seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against several party leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Akhilesh Yadav.

The plea claimed that these parties did not comply with the apex court’s August 2021 judgment to declare criminal antecedents of its Uttar Pradesh assembly poll candidates.

The apex court in August, 2021 had directed the political parties to upload on their websites and social media platforms the details of pending criminal cases against their candidates and the reasons for selecting them as also for not giving ticket to those without criminal antecedents.

It had said these details should be published within 48 hours of the selection of the candidate or at least two weeks before the first date for filing of nominations, whichever is earlier.

The details should also be published on official social media platforms of the political parties, including Facebook and Twitter, and also in one local vernacular and one national newspaper, the apex court had directed.

In September 2018, a five-judge constitution bench had unanimously held that all candidates will have to declare their criminal antecedents to the Election Commission before contesting polls and called for a wider publicity, through print and electronic media about antecedents of candidates.

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