EC wants debarring of candidates facing serious crimes charges
New Delhi: In fresh steps to cleanse public life, the Election Commission has proposed that candidates against whom charges have been framed in serious crimes be barred from contesting elections and that false affidavits should also become a ground for disqualification.
The Election Commission has made recommendations to the the government in this regard which comes against the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s intervention when those convicted of serious offences were instantly disqualified from being an MP or an MLA.
“Those who are facing criminal charges, the Commission has made a proposal to the Law Ministry (that) at least in such of the criminal cases where the (minimum) punishment is imprisonment of five years, if a person is accused of that and if charges have been framed by the competent magistrate at least six months before the scheduled date of election, they should be disqualified from contesting elections,” Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told.
He said the proposal of the poll panel has been referred by the Law Ministry to the Law Commission which is working on making recommendations on electoral reforms.
Sampath said a “safeguard” has also been proposed to prevent misuse of the provision. The provision of barring persons from contesting polls will apply only in cases where charges have been framed for the alleged crime six months before the announcement of elections.