Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is against their right

Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is against their right

The Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgement on July, 2013 banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections.

Following the approval of this move from civil society and thinkers, the Parliament overturned the verdict and allowed politicians who have been detained in jail or remained in custody to contest elections. The logic behind the Parliamentary legislation was that politicians who have been placed in jail have only undergone temporary suspension of rights.

The apex court had held that only those who can vote must be allowed to contest elections. A considerable number of states in India have been plagued with the problem of tainted ministers or politicians contesting elections after committing heinous crimes such as murder and rape. Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is not a violation of their rights.


• Placing a ban on politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is not against their rights. This is because a convicted criminal has no place in civil society and he or she has forfeited the right to represent the nation due to grave misconduct. It is the moral and ethical responsibility of the legislators and the judiciary to prevent criminals from contesting elections in India. Persons with good character and exemplary leadership skills are needed at the helm so that the country can prosper.

• Most legislation across the world prevents those with criminal records from holding office or being part of the government machinery. Nowhere in the world are rapists and convicts given the right to contest elections and get a chance to make laws except India. The very notion that a person with a criminal record has the ability to lead a nation is ludicrous.

• Not only is the banning of criminals from contesting elections a necessity for the welfare of the nation, but it is also a means of safeguarding the integrity of the Parliament. If people with criminal records are allowed to contest elections, they may use unethical means and coercion to force persons to vote for them.

This is a violation of the very fundamental basis of democracy. It is a violation of the principles on which our nation was founded.

• It is deplorable that the politicians who have committed serious crimes such as murder and extortion continue to remain in office.

It is incorrect to assume that the person who has been jailed is merely undergoing suspension of rights on a temporary basis. It is clear that those who are jailed deserve to be removed from assuming political leadership of the country.


India is notorious for being a nation that is led by convicted politicians who have been charge-sheeted in many scams. Our image in the global media has become tarnished due to this reason. International laws are very strict regarding the need to regulate and monitor criminals. Instead, our Parliament is allowing these notorious law-breakers to contest elections and represent the country in state and central legislatures.

It is not a violation of the rights of these criminals if they are disallowed from holding office or contesting elections. If India wants to be a world leader, our politicians must be persons with integrity and sound ethical values. We need to be led by those who are law abiding and upright citizens of our nation.
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  • RE: Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is against their right -Deepa Kaushik (05/03/14)
  • A right in itself is because of the laws and regulations. Banning such politicians itself calls up for an amendment in the law and policy structure, so as to curb their right of contesting an election. It is definitely unfair to let a person with criminal background with an opportunity of getting the power to rule the entire country.

    If governance goes into the hands of the criminals, then how can we expect for the security of the common man, or the crime rate of the society to come down. Instead they will themselves initiate the crime at the background, posing to be a fair and honest person in public.

    Criminals should be treated equally irrespective of their status in the society and the bank balance. The power of ruling a country is the biggest responsibility. Giving that to the dirty hands is highly unjust and objectionable. It is appreciable in every aspect to ban the politicians with the criminal record from contesting the elections.
  • Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is against their right -Farhana Afreen (04/03/14)
  • Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is against their right

    The question of banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections has been raised many times and yet no conclusion has been reached upon. The constitution of India allows every citizen of the country who has reached the allowable age of election to contest for any legislative position of the country. Neither his criminal background is taken into account nor his education level.

    The constitution of India was framed at a time when every other citizen of the country was involved in a case for the good cause of freedom fighting. It is probably for this reason that no laws were framed to prevent criminals from contesting elections. Corruption and other heinous crimes were not that high in those times and hence it was not considered. But the present time witnesses the kind of illegal activities and corruptive deeds that are promoted if a wrong person comes to power. Those with criminal charges and cases against them contest elections and even wins with the help of power and money and the result is well known to each and every individual of this nation. It is time when these constitutional laws should be amended and politicians with criminal records should be banned from contesting elections.

    These are the data collected by National Election Watch and the Association for Democracy Reforms at the end of 2009 general elections:

    • 162 out of 543 members of the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of parliament, have criminal cases against them. That makes the proportion up to 30 percent of lawmakers are criminals with a bad record.

    • 1,258 out of 4,032 sitting lawmakers in state legislatures are facing criminal cases which are also roughly 30 percent.

    • Almost every politician of the country has at least one case filed against them.

    These criminal cases are not petty issues of misunderstanding or wrong charges but serious offences include heinous crimes like rape, murder and kidnapping, plot to murder, illegal business activities and involving in illegal supplies. Can we expect strict laws to be made against rape cases when most lawmakers are themselves rapists? The same can be said for all other crimes. If we expect to bring about changes, the Indian constitution must be amended keeping in view the current scenario.

    Banning politicians with criminal records from contesting elections is just as not allotting weapons to a criminal in order to prevent further crimes from happening. If banning them from contesting is against their constitutional right then so it is for keeping a murderer in jail. Power and position cannot be allotted to those who can misuse it. They must not just be banned from contesting elections but also be banned from involving in any kind of actions of elections or legislative bodies.

    For small and petty criminal charges exceptions could be made but not for those accused of serious crimes. They cannot be expected to run the country in a democratic or peaceful way. A very common example is that of Passport verification. For a boy of merely 17 years who wants to go abroad for further studies, he must have a verified passport duly verified by police to ensure that he has no criminal charges against them. If criminal charges could ban a person from getting his passport verified then how can banning a criminal from contesting election be against his rights?