Criminalization Of Politics means the entry or introduction of criminal elements in the electoral process and other democratic Institutions or a nexus between Political entities and criminals.
Reasons of Criminalization of Politics are as follows:
- Society nurtures power motivations and politics is seen as the route to earn power.
- The criminal justice system in India has a built-in delay, which allows a criminal element not to be convicted in a court of law easily and thus continue into politics.
- The rate of conviction is very low
- Poverty, illiteracy, and parochial considerations do not lead voters to vote for the right candidate.
- The first-past-the-post (FPTP) system may allow the wrong and unpopular candidates to power, especially in a multi-party system.
Steps taken to stop Criminalisation of Politics.
- Supreme Court in Association of Democratic rights versus Union of India case 2002, held that citizens enjoy Right to Information as a fundamental right i.e. they have the right to know about the background of contesting candidate.
- In Ramesh Dalal case 2005 and Lily Thomas Case 2013 held that a convicted legislative member will be debarred from contesting the election under Representation of peoples Act 1951, also legislator convicted with two years or more shall be disqualified for 6 years from the date of release.
- Election Commission of India in 1998 directed the Returning officer (RO) to reject the nomination paper of a candidate if his conviction stands on the date even if his sentence suspended by a higher Court.