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Make It Mandatory For Candidates To File Documents Supporting Affidavit On Criminal Offences Before Elections: Petition In SC; Notice Issued [Read Petition]

The Supreme Court, on Friday, issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a Petition seeking greater transparency in election process by making it mandatory for candidates to furnish documents along with an affidavit on information relating to criminal offences.A Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the respondents to file a response within four weeks...

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The Supreme Court, on Friday, issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a Petition seeking greater transparency in election process by making it mandatory for candidates to furnish documents along with an affidavit on information relating to criminal offences.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the respondents to file a response within four weeks on the Petition filed by Mr. Khemchand Rajaram Koshti.

Filed through Advocate Devadatt Kamat, the Petition challenges an order passed by the Gujarat High Court, wherein a Petition demanding similar directions was rejected with the observation that the High Court cannot pass such orders in view of the specific directions of the Apex Court in the case of Union of India v. Association for Democratic Reforms, (2002) 5 SCC 294.

The Petition contends that the absence of any requirement to provide documents supporting the affidavit “renders the very purpose of giving an affidavit otiose and nugatory, inasmuch as neither the Returning Officer nor the voter is in a position to appreciate whether the contents of the affidavit at all reflect truth”.

It further states, “Despite the attempt of this Hon’ble Court to ensure transparency in the process of election and to make it mandatory for a candidate to disclose the information relating to criminal offences, liabilities and educational qualification, there is a complete void in the statutory mechanism to even have a prima facie verification of the contents of the affidavit submitted by the candidate.”

The Petition then goes on to list the following questions of law for consideration by the Court:



  1. “Whether the directions contained in Para 48 of the judgment of this Hon’ble Court in the ADR case would render futile if concerned candidate is not mandated to furnish supporting document in relation to the affidavit filed by him?

  2. Whether the furnishing of supporting documents in relation to the affidavit required to be filed under Section 33A read with directions of this Hon’ble Court in Para 48 of the ADR judgment violates Article 19(1) of the citizens of India?

  3. Whether the Hon’ble High Court erred in failing to appreciate that the directions sought for were in aid of the judgment of this Court and not in contravention thereof and could have been granted by the Hon’ble High Court?

  4. Whether the directions sought for in the writ petition filed before the Hon’ble High Court were essential and in furtherance of the objectives of the free and fair elections and ensuring transparency and openness in the electoral process?”


Read the Petition Here


 
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