The Communist Party of India has appealed to the district law-enforcing authorities not to club all those who are facing false and unproved charges along with notorious criminals.
In a statement released here, M. Sekar, district secretary (in charge) of the CPI, said the Election Commission had given instructions that candidates or political parties should not appoint those having criminal background as their agents in the counting centres.
The model code of conduct defined the term, “those with criminal background,” as those who were convicted, notorious anti-social elements, those who were detained under the Goondas Act, and liquor peddlers.
The duty of identifying criminal elements had been assigned to the Deputy Superintendents of Police.
However, Mr. Sekar pointed out that in a politically surcharged atmosphere, there would be charges and counter charges and motivated complaints.
Before these charges are proved conclusively, it is not right on the part of the police to brand all of them as criminals.
Such a measure would undermine the democratic duties of political parties and also deny fundamental rights to the persons concerned.
Therefore, Mr. Sekar appealed to the Police Department not to bring all those who are facing unfounded charges within the ambit of “criminal elements.”
All these cases ought to be reviewed and the persons who were falsely implicated should be allowed to discharge their democratic responsibility without any hindrance, he said.