Source: 
Ani News
http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail2/story132833/30-pct-if-elected-mps-mlas-have-declared-criminal-cases-adrnew-report.html
Date: 
27.09.2013
City: 
New Delhi

New Delhi, Sept.26 (ANI): The Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch (ADRNEW) has analyzed the affidavits of candidates, including sitting Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies who have contested parliamentary and state assembly elections after 2008.

According to its report,as of now, of the 4807 elected members (MPs and MLAs), 1460 or 30 percent, have declared criminal cases against them.

About 688 or 14 percent have declared serious criminal cases.

The report further satets that of the 47389 analysed candidates who contested the elections since 2008, a total of 8041 or 17 percent, have declared criminal cases against them.

About 3759 or eight percent have declared serious criminal cases.

The ADRNEW report says that since 2008, only 24 of the 4807 analysed MPs and MLAs, or 0.5 percent have declared in their affidavits that they have been convicted at some point in a court of law.

Of the total 47389 analysed contesting candidates who have contested various elections since 2008, only 155 or 0.3 percent contesting candidates have declared in their affidavits that they have been convicted at some point in a court of law.

The report further states that one obvious reason for this low rate of conviction is the excruciatingly slow pace at which hearings of cases proceed in our courts.

It is possible that a candidate contesting an election may be refraining from declaring conviction in his/her affidavit once an appeal in a higher court is admitted challenging the conviction. In such a case this candidate may merely mention that an appeal is pending in a court and may not declare the conviction in the appropriate section of the affidavit, the report states.

It is also possible that candidates may be suppressing/hiding the conviction altogether because as of now there is no reliable mechanism in place to scrutinize these affidavits.

ADRNEW report further states that not all convictions lead to the disqualification of sitting MPs or MLAs. Only convictions related to the cases registered under those violations mentioned in section 8(1), 8(2) and 8(3) come under the purview of the Supreme Court judgement.

The current status of these convictions declared by candidates as to whether they have been turned down or stayed by a higher court in not available in public. We will only get to know this when these candidates file a fresh affidavit with the Election Commission of India if and when they choose to contest a fresh election, the ADRNEW concludes. (ANI)

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