Criminalization of Politics in India

Criminalization Of Politics means the entry or introduction of criminal elements in the electoral process and other democratic Institutions or a nexus between Political entities and criminals.

Reasons of Criminalization of Politics are as follows:

  1. Society nurtures power motivations and politics is seen as the route to earn power.
  2. The criminal justice system in India has a built-in delay, which allows a criminal element not to be convicted in a court of law easily and thus continue into politics.
  3. The rate of conviction is very low
  4. Poverty, illiteracy, and parochial considerations do not lead voters to vote for the right candidate.
  5. The first-past-the-post (FPTP) system may allow the wrong and unpopular candidates to power, especially in a multi-party system.

Steps taken to stop Criminalisation of Politics.

  1. Supreme Court in Association of Democratic rights versus Union of India case 2002, held that citizens enjoy Right to Information as a fundamental right i.e. they have the right to know about the background of contesting candidate.
  2. In Ramesh Dalal case 2005 and Lily Thomas Case 2013 held that a convicted legislative member will be debarred from contesting the election under Representation of peoples Act 1951, also legislator convicted with two years or more shall be disqualified for 6 years from the date of release.
  3. Election Commission of India in 1998 directed the Returning officer (RO) to reject the nomination paper of a candidate if his conviction stands on the date even if his sentence suspended by a higher Court.

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