Politicians’ Crime with Case Laws related to disqualification of Politicians
Abraham Lincoln says, “ Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people”
India a democratic country, and a democratic form of government as we elect our own representative who is responsible for governing the country, therefore it is very important that the people who enters in politics must have a clear image and high moral character.
Criminalization of politics has become a headache for the Indian democracy System and it is a harsh reality now. It is more mischievous than terrorism. Our fighters who fought for our freedom and struggle for about 70 years ago had a dream but now it seems like to be finished. Criminalization of political candidates is a result of the connection between criminals and politicians because of which the corrupt has become our leaders and our heroes.
India can boastfully (talk too proudly about something that they have done or that they own) claim itself as the world’s largest democracy, but can’t hold up to claim to be the greatest democracy of ideal representatives.
Even individual who have criminal cases pending against them can take part in elections as Indian law does not bar those who are facing ordeal for serious criminal offence also and what’s more shocking and rather unacceptable is that these people even after committing serious criminal offences make their address to the Parliament and Assemblies, which is the highest governing body of the country. Woefully, who we elect to make the laws are themselves, criminals, before the law. The winning chances of a corrupted candidate were 13% while those of a clean candidate were just 5%. In 2019 elected Lok Sabha members have criminal charges against them, a 26% increase as compared to 2014
Criminalization of politics in India includes political control of the police, state money, corruption, weak laws, lack of ethics, values, vote bank politics and omission in the function of the election commission. Having a weak rule of law (Politicians’ crime)
) in India is one of the main reason that has led to an increase in the alternative forms of controversy resolutions. Addressing the entire value chain of the electoral system may be the key to solving this hazard. This process would involve familiarizing the electorate about the role and responsibility of the elected representatives. Most voting population views their representatives as their problem solvers. So, they are willing to vote for a candidate who can get things done in any way possible while ignoring his participation in a crime.
Case Laws related to disqualification of Politicians
- In 2015 in the case of Supreme Court Advocates Association and another vs Union of India, WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 13 OF 2015, the Apex Court directed the centre to set up special fast-track courts to deal with the pending cases against the sitting politicians. These special courts act as time-bound and exclusive judicial mechanism to speed up the trials involving politicians.
2. In 2018, in the case of Public Interest Foundation vs Union of India WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 536 OF 2011 the Supreme Court said that it cannot disqualify candidates based on criminal charges from oppose election as there’s no such rule but itasked the Parliament to make a law that prevents candidates accused of serious crimes from entering politics. The bench concluded that informed choice is a cornerstone of a ‘pure and strong’ democracy.
In this case were issued the following directions
- Each contesting candidate shall fill up Details in form as per providing by the Election Commission and the form must contain all the other particulars Details as required therein.
- It shall state in bold letters with regard to the any criminal cases pending against the Election
- If a Election candidate is contesting an election on the ticket of a particular political party, The Candidate is required to inform the Political party about the any criminal cases pending against him/her.
- The concerned political party shall be obligated to put up on our official website the aforesaid information pertaining to candidates having criminal antecedents.
- The candidate as well as the concerned any political party shall issue a declaration in the widely circulated newspapers in the locality about the antecedents of the Election candidate and also give wide publicity in the electronic media(TV, News, Interest Etc).
3. The Supreme Court in 2020 in the case of Rambabu Singh Thakur vs Sunil Arora and Ors CONTEMPT PET. (C) NO. 2192 OF 2018 ordered the political parties to publish their candidate’s previous detailed criminal records before elections. This publication should be on On the official social media platforms of the political party, including Facebook & Twitter, One local vernacular newspaper and one national newspaper. The order also specifically asked the parties detailed reasons within 48 hours of the selection of Election candidates which should be published by the parties as to what made them select the candidates having criminal records over other candidates.
4. In 2013 in the case of Lily Thomas vs Union of India 2000 (2) ALD Cri 686 the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgement stating that any sitting MP(Member of Parliament) and MLA(Member Of Legislative Assembly) will lose their seat if sentence of a crime and punishment with minimum 2 years of imprisonment. Thus, this judgement reserves the Section 8(4) of the Representation of People’s Act which allowed (3) three months to appeal their sentence. Many MPs and MLAs lost their seat due this including Rasheed Masood, Jayalalitha, Lalu Singh Yadav etc.
Every country’s fate depends upon its politics. But now, the rule of law is only found in books. Criminals, powerful people, the machinery has formed such a dangerous cocktail which is now proving to be deadly for the society. Corruption and criminalization of politics are destroying the roots of democracy. Criminalization of politics has become an enduring phenomenon in India politics. It is destroying the real concept of DEMOCRACY. No political party is taking measures towards the elimination of criminal members in their parties as in the end they prove to be beneficial for them. Therefore, it’s a huge time now- Parliament must take some serious steps to restraint this threat. The realization of the fact that lawbreakers cannot be lawmakers can be an awakening truth for them. This then requires a fresh pool of candidates who can appeal to the voters by their abilities as good lawmakers with bonafide ideas. Political parties would then be pressured to give tickets to individuals who can win elections without having criminal cases against them. We have to change the nature of the government machinery, make it more transparent, accountable and charged. This is not an easy task but we are not powerless and we can create awareness among voters about their rights and they should vote for the right person. Our leader should be someone who doesn’t pay for votes and doesn’t take any backhander after being elected. If we want a clean democracy, we must have clean elections.
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