Owning up to criminalisation in politics

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The February 2020 order pushes the envelope further on restricting criminal candidates from contesting elections A February 2020 Supreme Court judgment on criminalisation in politics may have far-reaching consequences for Indian democracy. It will first be implemented in the coming Bihar elections in October 2020. The Court has asked the political parties to state “the reasons for […]

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A stain on our democracy

Unless we disqualify criminal candidates from standing for elections, our legislatures will keep getting more and more tainted The Supreme Court this week came down heavily on criminalisation of politics. It asked political parties to explain why they need to give tickets to people with criminal backgrounds. The court also asked them to publicise widely, […]

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The status of NOTA

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The phrase ‘criminalisation of politics’ entered the Indian lexicon in 1993 when it was used by the Vohra Committee which had been set up “to take stock of all available information about the activities of crime syndicates/mafia organisations which had developed links with and were being protected by government functionaries and political personalities”. This high-powered […]

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Chief Justice of India is now covered by the RTI Act. Political parties must come next

There was never any doubt that the Supreme Court of India is a “public authority” under the Right to Information Act. This story began on November 10, 2007, when the veteran RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal filed an RTI application “seeking information on declaration of assets made by the judges to the Chief Justices in […]

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Crime and Money in Electoral Politics: How can this trend be reversed?

Systemic corruption and sponsored criminalization have corroded the fundamental core of elective democracy and consequently, the constitutional governance. On one hand there is a free flow of unaccounted money at the disposal of political parties during elections and on the other hand, criminal elements have been playing a major role in the electoral process in […]

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Decriminalizing Politics: Over To Political Parties Now To Weed Out The Chaff

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Even while delivering his first speech in the Rajya Sabha on June 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought the support of lawmakers, urging the supreme court to complete the trials of pending criminal cases against MPs within a year. “When parties see seats being rendered empty, they will get the message… In five years, parliament […]

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