The Election Commission has proposed that those accused of offences punishable with at least five years in jail be barred from contesting elections after a court frames charges against them if the case is registered at least six months prior to the election. The poll panel said this in an affidavit that it filed before the Supreme Court, PTI reported on Sunday.

The EC said in the affidavit that it had actively taken steps to decriminalise politics and also made recommendations to the Centre. However, any further steps needed legislative amendments, which is beyond its scope, it said.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear the matter on Monday.

Among other recommendations, the Election Commission has proposed that it be given the power to deregister political parties. The poll panel has been raising the issue of decriminalisation of politics since 1998 and sent proposals to the Centre in 1998, 2004 and 2016, the affidavit said.

A decision to bar people from contesting polls for severe crimes would “go a long way in cleansing the political establishment from the influence of criminal elements and protecting the sanctity of the legislative houses”, the affidavit said.

The EC filed the affidavit in response to a petition by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who sought convicted people to be barred from forming political parties.

The Election Commission has often said that it supported the idea of disallowing convicts from contesting elections for life and barring their entry into the judiciary and legislatures. At present, politicians convicted of crimes that carry a prison term of more than two years cannot contest elections for six years after they leave prison.