The nation continues to wait, and is losing patience.
A political party can always give a reason, a candidate with criminal antecedents is found to be more suitable than a person who does not have criminal antecedents. If the political party is of the prima facie opinion, a candidate has been falsely implicated, it can say so. A possibility of a rival implicating someone falsely, as a political vendetta, is not unknown.
A political party would have the freedom of selecting candidates of its choice, though having criminal antecedents. What has been provided by us in Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora, [Contempt Petition (C) No. 2192 of 2018 in Writ Petition (C) No. 536 of 2011] is, the reason should not be with regard to mere ‘winnability’ at the polls. The direction requires the details as to information regarding candidates to be published within 48 hours of selection of the candidate or not less than two weeks before the first date for filing of nominations, whichever is earlier.
No one can deny, the menace of criminalization in the Indian political system is growing day by day. Also, no one can deny, for maintaining purity of political system, persons with criminal antecedents and who are involved in criminalization of political system should not be permitted to be the law-makers. The only question is, whether this Court can do so by issuing directions which do not have foundation in the statutory provisions.
The political parties refuse to wake up from deep slumber. Our hands are tied and we cannot transgress into the area reserved for the legislative arm of the State.
We clarify, the direction be modified and the details which are required to be published shall be published within 48 hours of the selection of the candidate and not prior to two weeks before the first date of filing of nominations.
– Hon’ble Justice R.F. Nariman and Hon’ble Justice B.R. Gavai, Brajesh Singh v. Sunil Arora, [Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 656 of 2020 in Contempt Petition (C) No. 2192 of 2018 in Writ Petition (C) No. 536 of 2011].