SC to hear plea against tainted leaders contesting polls

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to hear the plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Upadhyay seeking that political leaders charged with serious offences should not be allowed to contest the elections.

Upadhyay had knocked the apex court’s doors seeking its intervention into the matter.

He also pleaded the apex court to set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear this matter.

“The election is very near and the plea should be heard before the election as this is a very very serious matter,” Upadhyay told ANI.

He further said that there were serious charges against various politicians, adding they should not be allowed to contest the upcoming assembly elections in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa.

Seeking an immediate hearing into the matter, Upadhyay claimed in his petition that there were at least 33 percent leaders, who have been charged with serious offences.

The apex court earlier on Monday ruled that seeking votes in the name of religion during the polls is illegal.

During the hearing by a seven-judge constitutional bench, the apex court said that it would not reconsider its 1995 judgment that defined Hindutva as ‘a way of life and not a religion’.