Lawyer and Delhi BJP politician Ashwini Upadhyay has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) at the Surpreme Court, seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to derecognise the Samajwadi Party for having fielded criminals in the Uttar Pradesh election. Upadhyay has highlighted the case of Nahid Hasan, accused under the Gangsters Act of the state, whom the Samajwadi Party nominated to contest from Kairana.
Upadhyay asked through his petition why the court must not initiate contempt proceedings against the Samajwadi Party for defying the orders of the highest court of the country. He filed the PIL (Diary No 1834/20222) seeking appropriate writ, order or direction to the ECI to take steps to ensure that every political party publishes the details regarding criminal cases of each candidate along with reason for such selection on the Home Page of its official website in bold letters within 48 hours in spirit of the judgment of 25 September 2018 in writ petition (C) 536/2011 and 13 February 2020 in CP(C)2192/2018.
The lawyer sought direction to the ECI to ensure that every political party explained why it preferred a person with a criminal record and did not select a candidate without criminal antecedents within 48 h. He sought direction from the Supreme Court to the commission to ensure that every political party publishes the criminal cases within 48 h in electronic, print and social media and to file a contempt case against the president of the party that violated the aforementioned directions.
The petitioner sought direction to the commission to de-register Samajwadi Party, which he said had violated the directions of the Supreme Court “in letter and spirit”.
“The Facts Constituting Cause of Action accrued on 13.1.2022, when Samajwadi Party, which is a registered & recognised political party, fielded Notorious Gangster Nahid Hasan from Kairana but neither published his criminal records in electronic, print and social media nor the reason of his selection within 48 hours in spirit of the directions dated 25.9.2018 in WP(C)536/2011 and dated 13.2.2020 in CP(C)2192/2018. Nahid Hasan is in custody under the Gangster Act imposed on him around 11 months ago and he is the first candidate to file nomination in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections. On 13.2.2021, Shamli Police imposed the Gangster Act on Nahid Hasan, the two-time MLA from Kairana. He has multiple criminal cases and is the mastermind behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are many criminal cases including fraud and extortion and was declared a fugitive by Special MLA-MP Court,” the PIL reads.
“The Injury Caused to Citizens is extremely large,” Upadhyay’s PIL reads, “because even recognized political parties are giving tickets to dreaded criminals. Therefore, voters find it difficult to cast their vote freely and fairly, though it’s a fundamental right under Article 19.”
“The consequences of permitting criminals to contest, become legislators are extremely serious for democracy and secularism: (i) during the electoral process itself, not only do they deploy enormous amounts of illegal money to interfere with the outcome but also intimidate voters/rival candidates. (ii) Thereafter, in our weak rule-of-law, once they gain entry to the governance as legislators, they interfere with, and influence, the functioning of government machinery in favor of themselves and their organization by corrupting government officers and, where that does not work, by using their contacts with Ministers to make threats of transfer and initiation of disciplinary proceedings. Some become Ministers, which makes the situation worse. (iii) Legislators with criminal antecedents attempt to subvert the administration of justice and attempt by hook or crook to prevent cases against themselves from being concluded and, where possible, to obtain acquittals. Long delays in disposal of cases and low conviction rates is testimony to their influence,” the petition reads.
Keeping in view the above, senior advocate Vikas Singh agreed to mention the matter on 18 January for urgent listing.