Candidates required to make criminal records public

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Mar 11: For the first time, the candidates contesting for the upcoming general and assembly elections will have to declare their criminal records through affidavits in newspapers before filling their nomination papers.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court last year stated that if a candidate had a criminal background, it must be given the widest possible publicity, including in the print and electronic media.
Addressing the media here on Monday, state’s Chief Electoral Officer Kaling Tayeng informed that as per the Supreme Court directives, the Election Commission of India has issued directions under which each candidate will have all entries in the prescribed format given by the commission.
The format also includes columns where the candidates have to mention pending criminal cases in bold letters.
Also, if the candidate is contesting the election on the ticket of a political party, the candidate has to inform the political party regarding his or her criminal cases.
The political party, after receiving the information about the criminal cases from concerned candidates, has to declare the information in their party website as well.
Further, candidates and concerned political parties will have to make a declaration in this regard, which they will have to publish and broadcast in prominent newspapers and electronic media thrice before the elections.
The CEO also informed that if candidates or political parties fail to comply with the particular order, post election in case any person files contempt petition in the Supreme Court, it may lead to the disqualification of candidates.