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28.09.2018
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CHENNAI: One-third of the 234 MLAs in Tamil Nadu face criminal cases as per affidavits filed with their nominations during the 2016 assembly election. The Supreme Court on Tuesday recommended that Parliament enact a law to prevent tainted people from contesting elections. An analysis of the data collated by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows that the state has 75 MLAs facing criminal charges, with 43 have “serious cases” against them. One MLA has a murder case pending against him.

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DMK leads the table with 44 of its 88 MLAs facing criminal cases. The AIADMK number is 28. Some former AIADMK legislators facing criminal cases crossed over to the DMK and are now legislators. Across the country, Jharkhand has the highest percentage of MLAs with criminal cases followed by Kerala and Bihar. Most cases are still at the trial stage.

The Supreme Court also directed party candidates to repeatedly make declarations in the media at the constituency-level about their criminal antecedents.

A DMK legislator, who is also an advocate, said, “Most cases were foisted on our partymen by the ruling party when we protested against them. As there is no proof against us, even after so many years, there is no chargesheet filed, let alone convictions.”

Tamil Nadualso has MLAs who are accused in crimes against women, including sexual assault and rape. Of the 50 AIADMK MPs, 10 have criminal cases pending against them, including three categorised as serious.

In neighbouring Puducherry, 11 of the 30 MLAs face criminal cases.

“We are disappointed with the SC order recommending Parliament to enact the law as all details about MPs and MLAs are already in public domain since 2002. If Parliament wanted to enact a law it could have done so in the last 16 years but parties were not ready for [such a] legislation,” said ADR founder JagdeepChokkar.

“All major parties give tickets to candidates with criminal cases against them, especially that of crimes against women. There are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognisance has been taken by the courts,” said Chokkar.

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