*Representational Picture Courtesy The Daily Eye

Criminals should not be politicians. Yet many of them were so. This was an unfortunate part of democracy and they must be dealt with socially.

This desire of the citizens in the country was taken note of by the apex court long ago. Now the Supreme Court on Tuesday held that all candidates will have to declare their criminal antecedents to the Election Commission before contesting an election.

The SC says criminalisation of politics of the largest democracy of the world is "unsettling".A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, noted that citizens have a right to be informed about the antecedents of their candidates.

Delivering a unanimous verdict, the bench, comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra,said that political parties are obligated to put all the information about their candidates on their websites.

The apex court opined that the legislature should frame a law to ensure decriminalisation of politics.It said that informed choice is the cornerstone of democracy and termed criminalisation of politics of the largest democracy as "unsettling".The bench favoured wider publicity, through print and electronic media about the antecedents of candidates affiliated to political parties.

Notably,the verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas raising a question whether lawmakers facing criminal trial can be disqualified from contesting elections at the stage of framing of charges against them.The judgement was reserved on August 28.

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