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Contempt of SC order? BJP candidates with 'serious' criminal charges: ADR report

Chief minister Vijay Rupani in Abdasa 
By Our Representative
The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a well-known elite NGO monitoring political processes, especially elections, in India, has said that despite a Supreme Court order, political parties, including BJP and Congress, fighting eight by-elections in Gujarat, scheduled for November 3, have chosen candidates with criminal cases.
An ADR report, prepared with the help of the Gujarat Election Watch, especially notes that two of the eight BJP candidates -- Pradhyumansinh Mahipatsinh Jadeja, fighting bypoll from Abdasa in Kutch district, and Jitubhai Chaudhari, fighting bypoll from Kaprada constituency in Valsad district – are facing criminal charges, according to their own admission in their affidavits.
However, none of the eight Congress candidates face serious charges.
While Jadeja faces serious charge related to voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty and obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions and provoking breach, Chaudhary faces the charge related to criminal intimidation and causing hurt.
The Supreme Court order, says ADR, has insisted that winnability should not be the criterion for selecting a candidate, demanding “action for contempt of the order.”
A total of 81 candidates have filed their nominations, the report states, adding, of these, 14 have declared that they have criminal cases against them. Of these, seven, including two from BJP, have serious cases registered against them. 
Two candidates (Bloch Ismail Yarmahmadbhai Baloch, an independent fighting from Morbi, and Mahendra of the Bharatiya Tribal Party fighting from Karjan) have charges of attempt to murder (IPC 307) against them.
The Supreme Court order dated March 6, 2020, says the report, states that “if political parties are selecting candidates with criminal background for the elections then they have to declare the details along with reasons for selection of that candidate on the website including social media platforms within 48 hours of the selection of the candidates.”
The order added, that “winnability cannot become criteria for selection, and political parties needs to consider criteria like education, merit and achievements etc.”, the report adds.
The report regrets, the two national parties, BJP and Congress, “have not paid much of the attention towards Supreme Court order and Election Commission directions issued thereafter and have selected candidates with criminal background. In the report submitted to the Election Commission, parties have said that since candidate is popular, involved in social work and charges are not serious, they have selected candidate over other candidates.”
Giving party-wise details, the report says, one of the two candidates from the Bhartiya Tribal Party, three of the eight candidates from BJP, two of the eight candidates from the Congress – apart from and eight out of 53 Independent candidates – “have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.”
These include one Bhartiya Tribal Party, two BJP and four out independent candidates having serious criminal cases against them. And of these, two candidates face cases related to attempt to murder (Section-307).

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