Words such as ‘sedition’ and ‘anti-national’ are bandied about loosely these days, often with political overtones, the Supreme Court has said. Hearing a contempt petition moved by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay on criminalisation in politics, Justice Rohinton Nariman, sitting alongside Justice S Ravindra Bhat, said “it is very easy to frame anyone with such charge… now charges with political overtones are brought in”.
The apex court has already ordered that chargesheeted politicians and those against whom charges were framed cannot contest polls. The court has also directed contestants to reveal criminal antecedents ahead of elections and ordered political parties and candidates to publicise such details in major newspapers for the benefit of the voter. However, these orders are often not observed, Upadhyay said in his contempt petition.