Comparison of pending cases and convictions declared by elected representatives
Comparison of number of pending cases and number of convictions declared by sitting MPs , MLAs and Contesting Candidates
(Elections Covered: Parliamentary and State Assembly elections after 2008)
- Sitting MPs & MLAs with declared cases: In the elections (including Lok Sabha 2009 and State Assembly Elections) since 2008, of the 4807 elected members (MPs and MLAs) 1460 (30%) have declared criminal cases against them of which 688 (14%) have declared serious criminal cases.
- Contesting Candidates with declared cases: Overall, during these elections since 2008, out of the 47389 analysed candidates who contested the elections a total of 8041 (17%) have declared criminal cases against them of which 3759 (8%) have declared serious criminal cases.
- Convictions of sitting MPs & MLAs: The convictions declared by elected members (MPs and MLAs) since 2008, only 24 (out of 4807 analysed MPs & MLAs) i.e. only 0.5% have declared in their affidavits that they have been convicted at some point in a court of law.
- Convictions of contesting candidates: Of the total 47389 analysed contesting candidateswho have contested various elections since 2008, only 155 (0.3%) contesting candidates have declared in their affidavits that they have been convicted at some point in a court of law.
Very low rate of convictions
- One obvious reason for this low rate of conviction is the excruciatingly slow pace at which hearings of cases proceed in our courts.
- It is possible that a candidate contesting an election may be refraining from declaring conviction in his/her affidavit once an appeal in a higher court is admitted challenging the conviction. In such a case this candidate may merely mention that an appeal is pending in a court and may not declare the conviction in the appropriate section of the affidavit.
- It is also possible that candidates may be suppressing/hiding the conviction altogether because as of now there is no reliable mechanism in place to scrutinize these affidavits.
Clarifications about convictions
(With respect to the July 10, 2013 Supreme Court judgement in Lily Thomas vs Union of India case)
- Not all convictions lead to the disqualification of sitting MPs or MLAs. Only convictions related to the cases registered under those violations mentioned in section 8(1), 8(2) and 8(3) come under the purview of the Supreme Court judgement.
- The convictions mentioned (in above I) declared by candidates or elected members (in elections since 2008) don’t come under the purview of the Supreme Court judgement because the judgement is not applicably retrospectively i.e. only convictions later than 10th of July 2013 will result into the disqualification (and not the ones prior of this date)
- The current status of these convictions declared by candidates as to whether they have been turned down or stayed by a higher court in not available in public. We will only get to know this when these candidates file a fresh affidavit with the Election Commission of India if and when they choose to contest a fresh election.