The New Indian Express
New Delhi

A total of 363 MPs and MLAs face criminal charges that, in case of conviction, will lead to their disqualification under the Representation of People Act, poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.

Thirty-nine ministers at the Centre and in states have also declared criminal offences that are included in Section 8 of the Representation of People Act on disqualification.

Sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act provide that a person convicted of an offence mentioned in any of these sub-sections shall stand disqualified from the date of conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his/her release.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch have analysed the affidavits of 542 Lok Sabha members and 1,953 MLAs from 2019 to 2021.

Out of the 2,495 MPs/MLAs, 363 (15 per cent) have declared that charges have been framed against them by courts for offences listed in the Act.

Among them, 296 are MLAs and 67 are MPs.

Among parties, the BJP has the highest number of such MPs/MLAs at 83, followed by the Congress 47 and TMC 25, the ADR said.

Twenty-four sitting Lok Sabha members have a total of 43 criminal cases pending against them and 111 sitting MLAs have a total of 315 criminal cases pending against them for 10 years or more.

The offences listed under Section 8 (1), (2) & (3) are serious/grave/heinous in nature.

Bihar has 54 MLAs who are facing such serious criminal cases, followed by Kerala 42.

There are four union ministers and 35 ministers in states who have declared criminal cases listed in the Act, the ADR said in its new report.

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