Election Commission on Monday informed the Supreme Court that a person against whom charges have been framed in a criminal case should be barred from contesting polls.
In an affidavit submitted to the court, EC said, “Framing of a charge is done after judicial scrutiny of the evidence and the accused person should not be allowed to contest election as he ceases to have requisite excellence and integrity for public office.”
Appearing before a bench headed by justice RM Lodha, advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for EC said the doctrine that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty should not be applied to right of a person to contest election.
“It is stated that where a person has been accused of serious criminal charges and where the court is prima facie satisfied about his involvement in the crime and consequently charges have been framed against such person, then in such cases, keeping such person out of the electoral arena would constitute a reasonable restriction for serving the larger public interest,” the commission said in its affidavit.
“At this juncture, the integrity and character of the accused is under scrutiny and he ceases to have requisite excellence and integrity to be considered as a candidate for a high public office involved in the administration of the country,” it said.