Almost one in every five candidates contesting in the 2019 general elections is accused of committing a heinous crime, according to independent analysis.

About 19% of those standing in the election face charges including rape, murder and kidnapping, New-Delhi based Association of Democratic Reforms said Monday, citing signed affidavits submitted to the Election Commission.

"There is a continuous increase in the proportion of candidates who have criminal cases against them," said Jagdeep Chhokar, a founding member of ADR. "Everyone, including voters and political parties, need to think why people with criminal cases are given tickets."

India’s law bars a person convicted of any offense and sentenced to an imprisonment of two years or more from fighting elections. Those facing charges are free to run as the over-burdened judicial system can take decades to resolve a case. The proportion of such candidates was 17% in 2014 election, up from 15% in 2009.

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