Criminal Background in Candidates Pollutes Election Process, Poses Threat to Democracy: Allahabad High Court

Allahabad HC warns against candidates with criminal records, stating they threaten democracy. Grants bail but refuses suspension for ex-MP Dhananjay Singh in a kidnapping case. Case: Dhananjay Singh vs. State of UP.

The Allahabad High Court recently granted bail to former MP Dhananjay Singh in a kidnapping and extortion case involving a Namami Gange project manager. While doing so, the court expressed concern about candidates with criminal backgrounds participating in elections.

Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh, in a 35-page order, emphasized the risks posed by individuals with criminal records to the electoral process. "Persons with criminal background pollute the process of election as they have no reservation from indulging in criminality to win an election," remarked the Court. It noted that such individuals, when elected, pose a serious threat to the democratic system.

The Court highlighted the alarming trend of criminals entering politics, stating that it severely undermines democracy. "The very future of our democracy gets imperilled when such offenders masquerade as leaders making a travesty of the entire system," the single judge remarked. The Court also noted the growing corruption associated with the criminalization of politics.

Emphasizing the need for clean politics, the Court stated that discretionary power should be sparingly used to stay convictions. "Each case has to be decided on its own merit," the Court remarked, considering factors like the gravity of offenses and previous criminal history.

Despite Singh's claims of innocence and his desire to contest elections, the Court refused to stay his conviction. The case against Singh alleged that he abducted a resident and pressured him to supply low-quality material for a government project. Singh argued that he was falsely implicated for political reasons.

Singh's counsel highlighted his political career and aspirations, seeking suspension of his conviction to contest elections. However, the Court, noting deficiencies in the prosecution's case, granted bail but refused to suspend his conviction.