Times Of India

The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) has written to Goa’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Kunal, and asked him to ensure that candidates of all political parties publish the criminal history of all their candidates. ADR has also requested the CEO to ensure that the Supreme Court is informed about non-compliance by political parties and their candidates.

In 2020, the Supreme Court ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for assembly and Lok Sabha elections, along with the reasons that prompted them to field candidates with criminal records over clean individuals.

“I am sure your office is seized of the matter and we are confident that the parties and the candidates will comply with the necessary requirements,” said state coordinator for ADR, Bhasker Assoldekar.

The Supreme Court’s directions say that the criminal antecedents of a candidate should be detailed and include the nature of their offences, charges framed against them, the court concerned, case number and status of the case.

The apex court has also put the onus on political parties, asking them to explain the “merit” behind the selection of a candidate accused of a crime.

TOI had reported a few days earlier that the number of MLAs with serious criminal cases against them more than doubled since 2007.

Data released by the ADR shows that 11 of the 40 MLAs elected in 2017 have criminal cases registered against them. Of these, nine MLAs have serious cases registered against them, including crimes against women.

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