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Doubtful if parties will frame law to decriminalise politics:Former CEC Krishnamurthy

Former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy Tuesday expressed skepticism over the legislature framing a law to ensure decriminalization of politics, given the past record of political parties.

If such a law is framed, it would be most welcome but unfortunately, political parties have shown little interest in having a legislation to prohibit criminally-charged people

from contesting elections, he told PTI.

The Supreme Court Tuesday held that all candidates would have to declare their criminal antecedents to the Election Commission before contesting an election, saying

the criminalization of politics of the largest democracy is "unsettling".

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said citizens have a right to be informed about the antecedents of their candidates.

"If this direction can be of any importance, it's for the government and the Parliament to take note and take necessary action. But I do not know.. this suggestion has been given by so many eminent bodies earlier also but it's only a direction

to consider, if they had said frame a law, that would have been even better," Krishnamurthy said on the apex court ruling.

"I have my doubts how serious they (political parties) will be," he added.

Asked if he remained skeptical on this issue, he said considering the past record of political parties he is not sure whether they would take it seriously.

"... the suggestion has not been taken note of (in the past) but it is to be seen whether they (political parties) will (now) give more importance to the Supreme Court direction and see whether they will take some quick action. We have to wait and see", Krishnamurthy said.

In the unanimous verdict, the constitution bench said political parties are obligated to put all the information about their candidates on their websites.

It asked the legislature to consider framing a law to ensure decriminalization of politics.



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