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New Delhi, September 11, 2020
The Election Commission (EC) today said that candidates and political parties, regarding candidates nominated by them, would have to publish the details of their criminal antecedents, if any, in newspapers and on television thrice in the run-up to elections.
The Commission said in a press release that the first publicity in this regard would have to be made within the first four days of the last date of withdrawal of candidatures; the second within fifth to eight day of last date of withdrawal and the third from the ninth day till the last date of campaign, that, is two days prior to the date of poll.
"This timeline will help the voters in exercising their choices in more informed manner," the release said.
Regarding the publicity by uncontested winning candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them, the EC clarified that they shall also publicise the criminal antecedents, if any, as prescribed for other contesting candidates and political parties.
The new instructions were issued after the Commission discussed the matter at length at its meeting here today.
"Commission decided to further streamline the instructions concerning publicity of criminal antecedents by candidates concerned and by the political parties, who nominate them for elections. Commission has always emphasised on this moral yardstick for overall betterment of electoral democracy," the release said.
"As decided by Commission, a compendium of all instructions and formats issued so far, in this matter, is being published for the benefit of stakeholders. This will help in creating more awareness amongst the voters and other stakeholders.
"All instructions, in this regard, must be complied by the contesting candidates with criminal antecedents and the political parties regarding their nominated candidates.
"These modified instructions shall apply with immediate effect," the release added.