1580 MPs, MLAs are facing criminal charges
Chargesheet in a criminal case does not disqualify a neta for seeking votes and becoming legislator. The Supreme Court today refused to debar politicians facing criminal charges from contesting elections.
The Supreme Court, however, left it to Parliament to frame laws to keep criminals away from politics and law making process. The court ruled that framing of charges in a criminal case against a politician or a person was not enough to debar her from contesting elections.
This ruling gave a huge respite to more than 1,500 legislators in the country. According to a report released in April this year by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a total of 1,580 MPs and MLAs or approximately 33 per cent of the legislators in Parliament and state assemblies have declared criminal cases against them.
The ADR report was based its analysis of the affidavits submitted by the legislators. There are a total of 4,896 MPs and MLAs in the country. The ADR analysed affidavits of 4,845 of them. These include 768 of 776 affidavits of MPs, and 4,077 of 4,120 MLAs.
Of the MPs and MLAs having criminal cases registered against them 48 were booked for crimes against women. Three of these legislators are MPs while 45 are MLAs. The BJP has the maximum number of MPs and MLAs with cases of crime against women. A total of 12 BJP legislators face cases of crime against women followed by seven from the Shiv Sena and six from the Trinamool Congress.
At the conclusion of 2014 parliamentary election, every third MP in the 16th Lok Sabha had criminal charges, the ADR had found. It had analysed affidavits of 541 of 543 Lok Sabha MPs.
Out of the 541 MPs whose affidavits were analysed, 186 or 34 per cent had declared criminal cases against them. The corresponding figures were 30 per cent in 2009 and 24 per cent in 2004.
Of 282 BJP MPs in 2014, 98 had criminal charges against them. Eight out of total 44 candidates of Congress faced criminal charges while six of 37 AIADMK MPs had criminal cases against them and 15 of 18 Shiv Sena MPs had criminal charges against them.