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Court asks EC how criminals are in the fray

The patna High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission, the Centre and Bihar government to explain how people lodged in jails were being allowed to contest elections. The court direction came on a PIL filed by advocate Basant Kumar Chaudhary.
PTI | By Mayank S Singh, Patna
PUBLISHED ON APR 23, 2004 02:39 AM IST

The patna High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission, the Centre and Bihar government to explain how people lodged in jails were being allowed to contest elections. The court direction came on a PIL filed by advocate Basant Kumar Chaudhary.

The court fixed April 28 for next hearing in the case.

The PIL also challenges decision of courts to allow persons in judicial custody to file nomination papers. The People’s Representation Act (PRA) states: “No person shall vote in any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under any sentence of imprisonment or transportation, or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police.”

While hearing the petition, a division bench said the issue demanded scrutiny of the court. “If the right to vote of those in custody gets suspended, the right to contest is also under scanner,” the bench said.

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