The apex court directed the political parties to make public criminal records of their poll candidates within 48 hours of their selection.
Supreme Court on Tuesday slapped fine on several political parties, including BJP and Congress, for failing to comply with the court's earlier directions on making criminal antecedents of election candidates public.
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The top court imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on NCP and CPI(M), and Rs 1 lakh each on BJP, Congress, Janata Dal, RJD, CPI and LJP.
The apex court also directed the political parties to make public criminal records of their poll candidates within 48 hours of their selection.
The top court also curtailed the power of state prosecutors and ordered that they cannot withdraw prosecution against the lawmakers under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) without prior sanction from high courts. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana expressed strong displeasure over the non-filing of requisite status reports by the Centre and its agencies like CBI and indicated that it would set up a special bench at the top court to monitor criminal cases against politicians.
The apex court's order assumed significance in view of the fact, highlighted by an amicus curiae on the basis of news reports, that states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Karnataka have sought to withdraw criminal cases against politicians by using section 321 of CrPC which empowers prosecutors to withdraw cases.
(With inputs from agencies)
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST