Source: 
The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/30-MPs-MLAs-face-criminal-cases/articleshow/21026951.cms
Date: 
12.07.2013
City: 
VARANASI

VARANASI: After Supreme Court's landmark verdict on Wednesday regarding convicted MPs and MLAs, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch(NEW) released a report analysing criminal cases against them. The ADR/NEW report is based on the declaration made by the elected representatives in affidavits submitted by them to the Election Commission prior to contesting elections.

The ADR/NEW report says that the judgment has ruled that a convicted elected representative cannot continue in office and the conviction would lead to instant disqualification of the elected representative. The safeguard provided under Section 8(4) of theRepresentation of the People Act, 1951 has been struck down and declared ultra vires of Constitution.

The report analyzed 4,807 sitting MPs and MLAs. The analysis shows that 1,460 out of these 4,807 (30%) sitting MPs and MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves in the self-sworn affidavits prior to contesting elections. Among them, 688 (14%) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. As many as 162 (30%) of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves while 14% of the current Lok Sabha MPs have declared serious criminal cases.

According to report, 1258 (31%) out of the 4032 sitting MLAs from all state assemblies have declared criminal cases against themselves while 15% of the current MLAs from all state assemblies have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. The Jharkhand 2009 Assembly has the highest percentage of elected representatives (74%) who declared criminal cases against themselves. A total of 55 out of 74 MLAs of the Jharkhand 2009 Assembly declared criminal cases against themselves. Among the recent elections that have been covered by ADR and NEW, the Bihar 2010 Assembly has 58% MLAs who have declared criminal cases against themselves while the Uttar Pradesh 2012 Assembly has 47% MLAs with criminal cases.

The party-wise analysis of sitting MPs and MLAs with self-declared criminal cases reveal that 82% of MPs and MLAs, who got elected on JMM tickets have declared criminal cases against themselves while 64% of MPs and MLAs elected on RJD tickets have declared criminal cases against themselves. While 48% of public representatives elected on SP tickets have declared criminal cases against themselves, 31% of MPs and MLAs elected on BJP tickets have declared criminal cases against themselves (out of the 1,017 MPs and MLAs from BJP, 313 have declared criminal cases). Out of 1,433 elected representatives, Congress 305 (21%) have declared criminal cases against themselves.

In its earlier report released in December last year, ADR/NEW had also investigated the background of MPs and MLAs with respect to rape cases and other crimes against women, based on the affidavits submitted by them. As many as six MLAs declared that they have charges of rape against them in their sworn affidavits submitted to the Election Commission at the time of election. Of these six MLAs with declared rape cases, three belong to SP from UP, one belongs to BSP from UP, one of BJP from Gujarat and one from Andhra Pradesh's TDP.

Besides, 36 other MLAs have declared that they have other charges of crimes against women such as outraging the modesty of a woman, assault and insulting the modesty of a woman. Of these, 6 MLAs are from Congress, five from BJP and three from SP. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of such MLAs (8), followed by Orissa and West Bengal with seven MLAs each. Two MPs, one of ADMK from Salem constituency in Tamil Nadu and another of AITC from Tamluk constituency in West Bengal have declared that they have charges of crimes against women, such as cruelty and intent to outrage modesty.

Political parties gave tickets to 27 candidates who contested the state elections in the last five years and who have declared that they have been charged with rape. Of these, seven are independent candidates, five were given tickets by SP, two got tickets from BJP and two were BSP candidates. Out of these 27 candidates who declared rape charges, 10 are from UP and five from Bihar. The political parties also gave tickets to 260 other candidates in the legislative assembly elections held in the last five years who have declared that they have charges of crimes against women. Of these 260 candidates, 72 are Congress candidates, 24 were given tickets by the BJP, 16 were given tickets by SP and 18 got tickets from BSP. Maharashtra has the maximum number of such candidate (41), followed by UP (37) and West Bengal (22), the report added.

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