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  • 16 August, 2020

  • 8 Min Read

Madras High Court on Criminalisation of Politics

Enact a law to bar criminals in elections, asks Madras HC


  • The Madras High Court has directed the Centre to explain in two weeks as to why it should not enact a law prohibiting people with criminal background from contesting in parliamentary, Assembly and local body elections.
  • The observations were made while dealing with the HCP(Habeas Corpus Petition) to quash a preventive detention order passed against Jana alias A. Janarthanan, who is facing as many as 19 criminal cases including charges of murder, attempt to murder, and dacoity in Puducherry.


  • Justices N. Kirubakaran and V.M. Velumani issued the direction after taking note of media reports of “persons with criminal background becoming policy makers in many parts of the country.” They said such practice “has to be prevented and the system has to be cleansed.”
  • Passing an interim order on a habeas corpus petition (HCP), the judges said: “This is possible only if the top leaders of our political parties are firm in not admitting criminals in their parties. The leaders should have a vision for decriminalisation of politics.”
  • The Bench pointed out that an analysis of the 2019 Lok Sabha election winners by Association for Democratic Reforms, a non-governmental organisation, revealed that 43% (233 out of 539 Members of Parliament) had declared criminal cases pending against them.
  • Further, 29% (159 MPs) of the legislators were facing serious criminal cases.
  • “Therefore, the Central Government has to come out with a comprehensive legislation to prohibit persons with criminal background from contesting elections,” the Bench said.
  • Authoring the order, Justice Kirubakaran observed: “Indian democracy should not be tainted by criminals. It is seen that some of the criminal elements are also floating political parties on their own with the support of their religion or communities and the same is required to be prohibited.”
  • After impleading the Director General of Police as one of the respondents to the HCP suo motu, the judges directed him to submit in two weeks, the details of rowdy gangs active in Puducherry. The judges also wanted to know similar countrywide data from the Centre.

Source: TH

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