The ECI is empowered to de-recognise the political party formed by a convicted person.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to examine whether convicted leaders, who are disqualified to contest elections, could head political parties and could be allowed to choose candidates to contest elections.
A three judge Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna directed the writ petition filed by BJP advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya for final hearing in July.
The court would examine whether under Section 29 (A) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), the ECI is empowered to de-recognise the political party formed by a convicted person. It would also examine the issue to restrain the convicted person from becoming the office-bearer of the party.
The Election Commission filed an affidavit that it was supporting the ban and pleaded for powers to de-register apolitical party if a convicted politician heads it.
The Commission pointed out that only if it had such a power, there could be de-criminalisation of politics.
The Commission said it had made a recommendation to the Centre as early as in 1998 to de-register such political parties, which are headed by disqualified convicted persons, but the Centre was yet to respond. It said if there is power to register, there must be corresponding power to de-register apolitical party.