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CRIME AND POLITICS

Why in news?

The Supreme Court has taken a timely decision by agreeing to hear a plea from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to direct political parties to not field candidates with criminal antecedents.

Data on criminalization in politics 

  • 46% of Members of Parliament have criminal records
  • The Supreme Court has come up with a series of landmark judgments on addressing this issue
  • It removed the statutory protection of convicted legislators from immediate disqualification in 2013, and in 2014, directed the completion of trials involving elected representatives within a year.

Solution

  • Judicial pronouncements on making it difficult for criminal candidates to contest are necessary, only enhanced awareness and increased democratic participation could create the right conditions for the decriminalization of politics.
  • Discouraging political parties from fielding criminals as candidates
  • Adequate security measures during elections
  • Role of money in election should be lowered
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September 2022
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