The Hindu

The criteria for serious criminal cases include offences for which the maximum punishment is five years or more

At least 15% of the candidates for this general election in the State have declared that they had criminal cases against them, according to data compiled from their affidavits.

Tamil Nadu Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 945 out of 950 candidates who are contesting in the 39 constituencies. “Of them, 138 (15%) have declared that they have criminal cases against them and 81 (9%) have declared serious criminal cases,” said Arappor Iyakkam convenor Jayaram Venkatesan.

The criteria for serious criminal cases include offences for which the maximum punishment is five years or more. The candidates are classified under various types of offences – non-bailable, for serious criminal cases; electoral offence, which relates to loss to the exchequer; assault, murder, kidnap, rape; offences mentioned in the RPA (Section 8); among othersoffences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and crimes against women.

Analysis of affidavits of five candidates could not be done due to unavailability of their scanned copies while making this report, he said. Seven of nine candidates fielded by the Congress have declared criminal cases, and two among them face serious criminal cases. Sixteen of the 23 candidates of the BJP have declared criminal cases, of which nine face serious criminal cases. Thirteen out of 22 candidates of the DMK have declared criminal cases, while six among them face serious criminal cases. For AIADMK, 12 candidates have declared criminal cases, and six of them have serious criminal cases. Eleven of 39 candidates of the NTK have declared criminal cases. Six candidates have also declared serious criminal cases. For the PMK, six candidates have declared criminal cases. One candidate each of the DMDK, AMMK, CPI(M) and the VCK have declared serious criminal cases. A total of 52 out of 606 independents have also declared criminal cases, while 36 among them face serious criminal cases.

Of the 945 candidates analysed, 202 candidates have declared assets worth over Rs. 1 crore.

A total of 396 (42%) candidates have declared their educational qualifications to be between 5th and 12th standard while 458 (48%) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. A total of 52 candidates are diploma holders. 12 candidates have declared that they were literate and 23 candidates are Illiterates. Four candidates have not given their educational qualification, said Mr.Venkatesan.

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