Election invalid if winner hides criminal past: SC

The Supreme Court has ruled that election in any constituency would become invalid if the winning candidate had failed to disclose pending criminal cases against him. Non-disclosure of such cases by contesting candidates would amount to coming in the way of the voters’ right to exercise their franchise in a free, fair and informed manner, a Bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C. Pant held.

In that event, the election in question should be declared null and void by the Election Tribunal under Section 100(1)(b) of the Representation of People Act, it said. The Bench gave the ruling in a case pertaining to non-disclosure of criminal cases by a candidate in a panchayat poll in Tamil Nadu.

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