Voters have the right to know the criminal background of candidates: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that voters have the right to know the background of the candidates and can be asked to direct political parties to the EC to ensure that people facing criminal charges on their ticket through their election symbols Do not fight elections.

Following these comments, the five-member Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Mishra secured the verdict on many petitions. The parties completed the arguments, including the Election Commission and the Central Government.

The Supreme Court is looking into the question that whether any public representative facing criminal hearing can be disqualified in the case of fixing charges. At present, people’s representatives are banned from the time of conviction.

The Bench remarks regarding the rights of the voters to know the background of the candidates took place at such a time when the Center expressed strong opposition and said that the judiciary should not enter the legislative assembly by pre-conditions, which would have an adverse impact on the right to participate in the elections.

Attorney General K Venugopal, appearing for the Center, told the bench, “The motives of the judges are ridiculous. But the question is whether the court can do this. The answer is ‘no’. He was replying to the suggestion of the bench that people facing criminal charges will be free to contest but they can not do this on party ticket through party election symbol.

Other members of the Constitution bench include Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanvilkar, Justice Dhananjay Y Chandrachood, and Justice Indu Malhotra.

On behalf of the Center, Attorney General Venugopal appreciated the intention of the apex court to clean up the political system but also said that the judiciary can not interfere in the jurisdiction of the legislature.

Venugopal mentioned the concept of believing to be innocent until proved guilty and said that the court can not bet on the right to vote for the person and also includes the right to contest elections.

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