Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
EC revises timeline for candidates:
The Election Commission (EC) has decided to revise the timeline for political parties and candidates to publish details of the criminal antecedents of the nominees.
As per the revised guidelines:
The candidates as well as the political parties, regarding candidates nominated by them, will publish the details of criminal antecedents, if any, in newspapers and television in following manner:
- First publicity: Within first 4 days of last date of withdrawal.
- Second publicity: Within 5th to 8th day of last date of withdrawal
- Third publicity: From 9th day till the last day of campaign, i.e. two days prior to date of poll)
- This timeline will help the voters in exercising their choices in more informed manner.
What about the uncontested or nominated winning candidates?
Uncontested winner candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them shall also publicise the criminal antecedents, if any, as prescribed for other contesting candidates and political parties.
Significance of the move:
It will now mean that the declaration by candidates with criminal antecedents will have to spread over three rounds of publicity beginning with soon after filing nomination and ending towards the end of campaign period. EC felt in absence of detailed timelines, candidates had the option of clubbing publicity of such records.
The electoral reform related to publicity of criminal antecedents was set in motion by the Supreme Court (SC) in September, 2018 when it had asked political parties to publicize criminal antecedents of contestants in news media.
Earlier this year, the SC had directed that political parties fielding candidates with criminal records must tell the public why they had chosen them over those with clean records along with detailed information about candidates with criminal cases pending against them, including the nature of the offences.
- Revised timeline for timeline for political parties and candidates to publish details of the criminal antecedents of the nominees.
- Section 8 of the RP Act.
- ECI- composition and functions.
- CEC- appointment.
- Powers of Election Commission on matters related to election of candidates.
Discuss the concerns associated criminalisation of politics and what the Supreme Court done to address these concerns?