A Good Move: SC urges Parliament to enact a law to ban politicians with criminal records
Near about one-third of the elected representatives in India face criminal charges- Shocking, right? The Supreme Court had declined to ban politicians from criminal background to contest elections. The apex court has left the decision on the parliament to enact some laws in order to ensure the restriction over further ‘criminalisation of politics’. The court believes that the society deserves better people to govern them. SC urged parliament to enact a law to ban politicians with criminal records.
What did Supreme Court say?
“The sooner the better, before it becomes fatal to democracy,” a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said. Near about one-third of the elected representatives in India, faces criminal charges. Supreme Court directed that each candidate have to provide complete information regarding their criminal records before contesting elections. Also, there will be wider publicity and transparency of the records related to the contesting candidates.
“Our Indian democracy has seen a steady increase in the level of criminalization creeping into Indian polity. This tends to disrupt constitutional ethos, strikes at the root of a democratic form of government and makes citizens suffer,” the judges said.
The petition was filed before the apex court in 2011 by an NGO, Public Interest Foundation (PIF) which sought disqualification of candidates who are having criminal records of attracting sentences up to five years or so. Supreme Court reverted that it has endorsed the suggestion made in the PIL and sent the same proposal to the law and justice ministry of India.
However, during all the arguments, the center’s top law officer, KK Venugopal opposed the judgment and said that the court can order for the enactment of the law as that is its basic responsibility. The bench has then countered him by saying that it understood the separation of power and thus, could not direct parliament to make the law. But, the question here is, even after the enactment of a law, how we would deal with the rot we already have in politics? Will the government take any action against criminal leaders, ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls?
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