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.
- 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