Supreme Court: Notice Issued To ECI On BJP’s Review Petition Against Order Imposing Fine For Not Publishing Criminal Antecedents Of Candidates

The Supreme Court in the case of BL Santosh vs. Brijesh Singh and others observed and has issued a notice to the Election Commission of India in a review plea that is being filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary, BL Santhosh, on January 27, wherein the order was passed by the court and has imposed a penalty on the party for not publishing the criminal antecedents of candidates who are being fielded for the 2020 Bihar assembly elections. In the case, the bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice BR Gavai observed while hearing a review plea filed by BJP General Secretary BL Santosh against the order passed in August 2021, in which the court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the BJP for failing to follow the directions for publishing the criminal antecedents of candidates. The bench has added the Election Commission of India (ECI) as an additional respondent in the review petition and issued a notice to it. The bench has also requested that Senior Advocate Cate K Vishwanathan, who is an amicus curiae in the main matter, assist the court in the review petition.  The bench agreed to hear the BJP’s review petition in open court on November 30, 2012. In the said case, apart from the BJP there were seven other parties that were also punished for contempt. While the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Nationalist Congress Party were each fined five lakh rupees, the Indian National Congress, Janta Dal, Rashtriya Janata, and Dal (United) were each fined one lakh rupees. The bench, comprised of Justice RF Nariman (since retired) and Justice BR Gavai, affirmed the original order wherein the court contained several directions such as publication of criminal antecedents within 48 hours of the selection of candidates and the publication of such information in official websites and news articles of the parties.

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