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New Delhi: Ahead of the Assembly elections in five states, a writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Election Commission of India to de-register political parties that do not disclose the criminal antecedents of the candidates they have fielded for elections.
The plea was filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is a BJP leader, Bar and Bench reported.
Upadhyay has cited the specific example of Samajwadi Party fielding Nahid Hasan from the Kairana Assembly constituency as a candidate for the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh.
He alleged that Hasan is a notorious gangster but the Akhilesh Yadav-led party neither published his criminal records in electronic, print and social media nor the reason of his selection which is mandatory as per the February 2020 judgment of the Supreme Court.
"Nahid Hasan is in custody under the Gangster Act imposed on him around 11 months ago and he is the first candidate to file nomination in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections. On 13.2.2021, Shamli Police imposed the Gangster Act on Nahid Hasan, the two-time MLA from Kairana. He has multiple criminal cases and is the mastermind behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are many criminal cases including fraud and extortion and was declared a fugitive by Special MLA-MP Court," the plea stated.
For the unversed, the Supreme Court in its February 2020 judgment in a case had directed that political parties should upload details of candidates with criminal backgrounds on their official websites as well as in newspapers and on social media.
The report stated that the Court had reiterated its own 2018 ruling in this regard and ordered that details of criminal antecedents of candidates should include the nature of the crime, whether charges have been framed etc.
In his plea, Upadhyay stated that political parties have not adhered to the 2018 and 2020 rulings of the top court.
He, therefore, sought directions to the poll body of India to ensure that every political party explains why it has preferred a person with criminal cases and did not select a candidate without criminal antecedents, within 48 hours.
"Ensure that every political party publishes the details regarding criminal cases of each candidate along with reason for such selection on the Home Page of its official website in bold letters within 48 hours," the plea prayed.