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SC refuses to ban politicians facing criminal charges from elections


New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to ban politicians against whom criminal charges are pending from contesting polls. A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Deepak Misra, said, 'We are not in a position to add disqualification of candidates on filing of charge sheet in criminal cases.' However, the bench, comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, issued a slew of directions to curb the criminalisation of politics. The apex court was hearing the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed by Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lingdoh and an NGO.It had reserved its verdict till August 28. The Constitution bench said that candidates must declare their criminal antecedents and that political parties must put these up on their websites. Parliament should make a law to ensure candidates with criminal antecedents do not enter public life and take part in law-making, it said.

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