South First
Bellie Thomas

Karnataka Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms analysed the affidavits of 32 out of 34 ministers, including the chief minister.

Out of 32 newly inducted ministers into the Karnataka Cabinet, 24 have criminal cases against them.

The topper — Ballari MLA B Nagendra — has a total of 42 cases pending against him.

Meanwhile, 31 out of the 32 ministers assessed are crorepatis with an average worth of ₹119.06 crore, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Karnataka Election Watcher and ADR, soon after the expansion of the Karnataka Cabinet on 27 May, analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 32 out of the 34 ministers — including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah — and released their analysis of the criminal background, financials, education, gender, and other details of the ministers who have been given Cabinet berths.

One minister — Kelachandra Joseph George — was not analyzed due to the unavailability of his clear and complete affidavits on the ECI website when the ADR report was being written.

The details of NS Boseraju were not analysed as he is currently not a member of either House in the Karnataka Legislature.

The information is based on the affidavits submitted by the ministers prior to 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections, the ADR’s disclaimer stated.

In case of B Nagendra…

Out of the 32 ministers analysed, 24 declared criminal cases against themselves. Of them, seven declared serious criminal cases against them.

The criteria for “serious criminal cases”, according to ADR, are offences for which the maximum punishment is of five years or more; non-bailable offences; electoral offences (for example, IPC Section 171E or bribery); offences related to losses to the exchequer; assault, murder, kidnap, or rape-related offences; those mentioned in Representation of the People Act (Section 8); offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act; and crimes against women.

According to the ADR report, Ballari’s B Nagendra has 42 criminal cases pending against him. However, he is yet to be convicted for a criminal offence.

He has around 27 charges related to cheating and dishonestly (inducing delivery of property), 26 charges related to punishment for theft, and 19 charges related to criminal breach of trust by a public servant or banker, merchant, or agent.

Other charges include 14 for forgery-cheating, nine charges of forgery of valuable securities, and seven related to dishonestly receiving stolen property.

There are also charges pertaining to trespassing and breaking into a house at night to commit an offence.

Other ministers

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar has a total of 19 criminal cases pending against him, out of which six contain serious charges under the IPC.

He has three charges against him of causing the disappearance of evidence, or giving false information to screen an offender; one charge related to punishment for bribery; one charge related to punishment for false evidence; and one charge related to forgery for the purpose of cheating.

However, he, too, has not been convicted in any of the cases.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has a total of 13 cases pending against him, out of which six happen to be serious in nature.

He has three charges related to mischief by destroying or moving; one charge related to punishment for bribery; one charge related to undue influence at elections; and one charge related to punishment for undue influence or personation at an election. Siddaramaiah has also not been convicted of any cases.

Minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan has around five cases pending against him, where six IPC sections are serious in nature.

Khan has one charge of criminal intimidation; one charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder; one charge related to causing death by negligence; one charge related to assault or use of criminal force on a woman with the intent of outraging her modesty; one charge related to forgery for the purpose of cheating; and one charge related to cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

Minister D Sudhakar — an MLA from Chitradurga — has a total of two cases against him, with four serious IPC sections.

Eashwar Khandre of Bidar has seven criminal cases pending against him, with two IPC sections being serious in nature.

Minister KH Muniyappa has one criminal case against him, in which one IPC section is serious in nature.

Priyank Kharge has nine cases against him. However, there are no serious IPC sections invoked in any of them.

Santosh S Lad of Dharwad has a total of eight criminal cases pending against him, in which there is no serious IPC section.

Similarly, MB Patil from Bijapur has a total of five cases pending against him, while Ramalinga Reddy has four, but none of the IPC sections invoked against them is “serious”.

Dr Sharanprakash Rudrappa Patil, Dr G Parameshwara, and Laxmi R Hebbalkar have three cases each against them, with no “serious IPC section in any of them.

Ministers Suresha BS, HK Patil of Gadag, Madhu Bangarappa, Dr HC Mahadevappa, Krishna Byregowda, and Satish Laxmanrao Jarkiholi have two cases each against them, but again, no “serious” IPC sections have been invoked.

This is also the case with N Chaluvarayaswamy of Mandya, Timmapur Ramappa Balappa; Mankal Vaidya of Uttara Kannada, and SS Mallikarjun of Davangere, who have one case each against them.

Assets and liabilities

According to the ADR report, 31 of the 32 ministers are crorepatis, with the average asset analysed at ₹119.06 crore.

DK Shivakumar declared the highest asset size: He is worth ₹1,413.8 crore.

The minister with the lowest declared assets is Timmapur Ramappa Balappa from the Mudhol (SC) constituency, with assets worth ₹.58.56 lakh.

The only woman in the Cabinet, Laxmi R Hebbalkar, has declared assets worth over ₹13 crore and liabilities worth over ₹5 crore.

Educational status and age

Coming to the ministers’ educational status, the ADR report said six declared that they have studied up to Standard 8 to Standard 12.

Another 24 ministers have declared having educational qualification of graduate and above, and two ministers are diploma holders.

A total of 18 ministers have declared their age to be between 41 and 60 years, while 14 have declared their age between 61 and 80 years, the ADR report stated.

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