Poll panel warns candidates of being in contempt of court for not making criminal records public
The Election Commission had directed candidates and political parties to put out advertisements about existing criminal records.
Candidates and political parties who fail to comply with the September 25 Supreme Court order to publicise their criminal records risk being in contempt of court or other post-poll action, the Election Commission said. On October 10, the poll panel had directed candidates and political parties to publish advertisements listing their criminal records on three separate dates on television channels and newspapers ahead of the elections.
Those who publish incorrect information also risk being penalised, the commission said. The Election Commission’s order comes ahead of Assembly elections in five states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana – in November and December.
In a notice about “frequently asked questions”, the panel said, “such failure may be a ground for post-election action like election petition or contempt of the honourable Supreme Court.” The eligibility of the candidates could also be contested based on compliance with this rule.
On October 6, the Election Commission of India announced the Assembly election dates for Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh. Counting of votes for the five states will be held simultaneously on December 11.