In September this year, the Supreme Court declined to bar people with criminal cases from contesting elections. Putting the onus of creating a law to ban people with criminal cases from contesting polls on Parliament, the SC bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, had said: “The sooner the better, before it becomes fatal to democracy.”

The need for such a law is evident again as at least 231 candidates contesting in the Telangana assembly elections have serious criminal cases — including murder, kidnapping, and crimes against women — registered against them. An analysis of affidavits of 1,777 candidates from various parties, done by Delhi-based NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), has found that 368 candidates have criminal cases against them. All these cases are pending with police stations.


On Monday, the Telangana state co-ordinator of ADR, and Telangana Election Watch, D Rakesh Reddy, released the survey reports on the criminal background, education, financial status, and assets of of the state assembly election candidates.

The survey was conducted in 17 Parliamentary constituencies of the state, with roughly 500 to 550 respondents selected from each constituency, Reddy said.

“We have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 1,777 of the 1,821 candidates, who are in fray. For remaining 44 candidates, we could not analyse affidavits as they were either badly scanned or complete affidavits were not uploaded on the Election Commission of India(ECI) website,” said Reddy said.

The survey took 25 issues, including accessibility and trustworthiness of MLA, healthcare, law and order, public transport, roads, education, drinking water, employment, agriculture, electricity for agriculture and domestic use, farm prices, consumer prices, irrigation, subsidy for seed and fertilisers, garbage clearance, governance, and rating of local governance, into consideration.

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