Publicise details of criminal cases: EC tells candidates

New Delhi: Following up on the Supreme Court verdict regarding the criminal antecedents of candidates, the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday amended rules for declaration of criminal cases/ liabilities by the candidates and came out with a format for publishing media advertisement by them ahead of elections.
The candidates as well as the political parties will now have to publicise the details of criminal cases pending against them or cases in which they have been convicted, in newspapers and on television on “at least on three different occasions”.
“The candidates at elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, who have criminal cases against them, shall publish a declaration about their criminal cases for wide publicity in newspapers with wide circulation in the constituency area,” the EC said in an order sent to the Chief Electoral Officers of all states and UTs as well as to all political parties separately.
The declaration is to be published in a given format “at least on three different dates” from the day following the last date for withdrawal of candidatures and up to two days before the date of poll.
However, in the case of the declaration in TV channels, the same should be completed “before the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll”, the poll commission said.
The declaration in newspapers should be published in font size of at least 12 and should be placed suitably in the newspapers so that the directions for wide publicity are “complied with in letter and spirit”.
The candidates will have to submit the copies of the newspapers to the District Election Officer (DEO) concerned, along with the “account of election expenses to be filed by them under Section 78 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951”, the EC said. (IANS)

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