The Supreme Court on Monday recalled a portion of its 2021 judgement holding the Bharatiya Janata Party guilty of contempt of court and fining the outfit Rs 1 lakh for not complying with its directions about candidates with criminal backgrounds, Bar and Bench reported.

A bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and BR Gavai said that the case did not show a deliberate attempt to disregard the court’s order.

In February 2020, the Supreme Court had directed political parties to widely publicise details of criminal cases pending against their electoral candidates.

In August 2021, a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman had held eight political parties guilty of having violated the court’s orders in the Bihar Assembly elections.

The bench had imposed fines of Rs 5 lakh each on the Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). It had also imposed penalties of Rs 1 lakh each on the BJP, Indian National Congress, Janata Dal (United), Communist Party of India, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Lok Janshakti Party.

On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a review petition filed by BJP General Secretary BL Santhosh, and exonerated the saffron party from charges of contempt.

“Their conduct, for it to amount to contempt, had to be deliberate and willful,” Justice Gavai said, according to Live Law. “However, we cannot arrive at that finding. It is also not about penalising but the stigma that is attached to this process.”