Business Standard
Debarghya Sanyal
New Delhi

 failed to provide any reason for selecting 212 candidates who had criminal charges against them for the 2022  in Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, and Goa, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed.

 analysed 3,215 candidates from 33 parties across states, of which 1,178 declared pending . However, only in 966 of these cases were any reason provided for their nominations, through the mandated Format C7.

What is Format C7?

Format C7 is one of the several forms issued by the  of India enforcing the Supreme Court’s orders outlining mandates and procedures for electoral candidates with declared criminal charges.

Here’s a look at how the major parties did regarding the C7 mandates, across state elections.


The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems to have done the worst — of its 144 candidates with declared pending criminal charges against them, 43 per cent, or 63 candidates, failed to provide any reason why they were preferred by their party for contesting assembly seats.


The BJP fielded 232 candidates with declared  across the five state elections, and 32 among them (14 per cent) provided no reasons for their nomination. In UP, of 169 BJP candidates with a criminal background, 17 did not follow the C7.


Nine of 16 such candidates in Punjab, 10 of 17 in Goa, 3 of 23 in Uttarakhand and 19 of 169 in UP did not follow the C7.


Other major players like the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have done well when it comes to the sheer numbers. Only 4 of SP’s 224 candidates with pending criminal cases, and 3 of BSP’s 153 failed to make public the reason for their candidacy. However,  also pointed at the malpractices surrounding the C7 mandate. Around 70 per cent of BSP’s candidates with cases against them have given the same word-to-word excuse — false FIR — as to why these candidates were nominated over individuals without criminal.

No actions yet

According to the Supreme Court order and subsequent ECI’s letters, “If a political party fails to submit such compliances report with the EC, it shall bring such non-compliance by the political party concerned to the notice of the SC as being in contempt of this court’s orders/directions”. However, there’s no record of any such action against .

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method