The Association for Democratic Reforms on Monday wrote to the Election Commission seeking action against political parties for failing to publish the criminal records of poll candidates.

In a judgement in September 2018, the Supreme Court had directed all political parties to make public the criminal records and also specify the reason behind nominating such leaders as candidates.

In February 2020, while hearing a contempt petition on its order not being implemented, the Supreme Court had directed the political parties to list out the reasons behind selecting such candidates within 72 hours of nominating them. The Election Commission had issued orders to the parties making it mandatory for the parties to comply with the court’s directions.

In its letter to the Election Commission, the Association of Democratic Reforms noted that several parties “regardless of their current political outreach and popularity, did not have a functional website to publish details”.

The poll watchdog urged the Election Commission to take action against political parties who have defaulted on the directives across 16 Assembly elections between 2021 and 2023.

“...A few political parties that did have a website link, had not bothered to maintain this crucial information and/or had inaccessible web pages,” the letter stated. “While giving reasons for fielding candidates with criminal cases, the political parties had just copy-pasted the same reasons for different candidates.”

The Association for Democratic Reforms has asked the Election Commission to issue showcause notices to the parties guilty of not complying with the rules, deregistering them and move the Supreme Court on contempt petitions.