x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

A third of Indian MPs have criminal cases pending

Analysis found that a candidate with a clean record has a 12 per cent chance of winning the election whereas for a candidate with a criminal record, the chance of winning is 23 per cent.

NEW DELHI // About 30 per cent of members in the lower house of parliament have criminal cases pending against them, said a report released yesterday.

The report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (New) is based on affidavits filed by candidates during elections since 2004.

The analysis found that a candidate with a clean record has 12 per cent chance of winning the election whereas for a candidate with a criminal record, the chance of winning is 23 per cent.

The report found that 162 (30 per cent) of the 543 current Lok Sabha (lower house) members face "criminal cases" and 76 others (14 per cent) "serious criminal cases".

About 40 (17 per cent) of the 232 members from the upper house, the Rajya Sabha, have "criminal cases" and 16 others (7 per cent) have "serious criminal cases" filed against them.

Seventy-five per cent of MPs and state legislators elected on a Shiv Sena ticket since 2004 had criminal cases against them, the report said. This was followed by the Rashtriya Janata Dal with 46 per cent.

Thirty-one per cent of Bharatiya Janata Party MPs and state legislators elected since 2004 said they faced criminal cases, and 22 per cent of those from the Congress party.

A total of 8,790 affidavits filed by MPs and state legislators were analysed.

The independent agencies also analysed the records 62,847 candidates who stood for either parliamentary or state assembly elections since 2004, including 4,181 who contested more than one election.

"Out of 4,181 repeat candidates, 1,072 had a criminal case the first time they contested an election and 788 cases had the second time also," said the analysis.

"This goes to show that political parties gave tickets to 74 per cent of candidates with criminal records second time despite knowing their criminal background," said Anil Bairwal, national coordinator at New.

India's supreme court ruled earlier this month that elected politicians would be disqualified from office immediately upon being convicted of a crime.

Convicted politicians were earlier allowed to stay in office while while their appeals were being heard in higher courts.