Legal Woes Facing Members of 16th Parliament

A troubling trend is emerging that indicates more and more candidates with legal cases against them are elected to Parliament, the highest law making institution in India. Ten years ago, 24% of Members of Parliament (MPs) were accused of breaking laws. This figure then jumped to 30% in 2009, and now it stands at 34% in 2014.

The Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) of India analyzed 541 out of 543 MPs’ disclosures and found out that 186 MPs are accused of violating laws of India.

This means one in every three lawmakers in a newly elected 16th Parliament is an alleged lawbreaker.

Should India have lawbreakers as lawmakers?

The table here, compiled from ADR’s report, shows the names of MPs and offenses they have listed on their affidavits. These offenses fall under Section 8(1), Section 8(2), and Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The names are randomly selected, and the emphasis is not on individuals but on the glut of malfeasance covered under Indian Penal Codes (IPC).

      Table: Legal offenses as declared by MPs representing people of India in sixteenth Parliament

Name Party State Offence Total
Balks Suman TRS Andhra Pradesh 20,23,24 5
Naba Kumar Sarania IND Assam 14 1
R. Rajan
aka Pappu Yadav
RJD Bihar 11,12,13,14,15,
Mahesh Giri BJP CT Delhi 1,24 4
N.B. Kachhadiya BJP Gujarat 11,17,19,20,21,
Ashwini Kumar BJP Haryana 16,26 2
Vijay Kumar Hansdak JMM Jharkhand 27 1
Nalin K. Katil BJP Karnataka 1,26,27 4
P Karunakaran CPI(M) Kerala 20,26 11
Udayanraje P. Bhonsale NCP Maharashtra 3,11,17,20,22,
Ganesh Singh BJP MP 15,16,25 9
Tathagata Satpathy BJD Orissa 26 24
Sona Ram BJP Rajasthan 22 1
A. Arunmozhithevan AIADMK TN 15,16 5
Uma Bharti BJP UP 1,20,26 5
Natubhai G. Patel BJP UT Dadra Nagar 17,20,23,24 4
Idris Ali AITC WB 11,20,22,24,28 6
Adhir R. Chowdhury INC WB 11,19,22,23,28 6

Charges Codes: 1 Promote enmity 2 Bribery 3 Use of influence 4 Rape 5 Cruelty toward family 6 Hateful statement 7 Preach/Practice untouchability 8 Import export of prohibited goods 9 Terrorist act 10 Criminal misconduct 11 Attempted murder 12 Theft 13 Extortion 14 Kidnapping 15 Cheating dishonesty 16 Forgery 17 Trespassing 18 Damage to property 19 Carry weapon to hurt 20 Instigate riot 21 Robbery 22 Assault 23 Intimidation 24 Mischief 25 Falsification 26 Defamation 27 Insult 28 Deter public servant from doing duty

Also, on the ADR report is a final breakdown of tally by political affiliation of MPs facing legal issues. It shows 98 out of 282 MPs are of BJP, 8 out of 44 MPs are of Congress, 6 out of 37 are of AIADMK, and so on. Furthermore, it includes the names of 26-first-time MPs who are facing courts.

How could we reverse the trend?

There are hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens in our nation who are honest, highly educated, well-read; who may have years of experience working for private companies or for themselves; who may have either studied or lived abroad; and who may have seen the world to know what we could achieve. Lamentably, such people do not run for election nor want to run the government.

People say politics is not good for good people; it is dirty. But if good qualified citizens do not come forward to serve our nation, we may continue to see the trend of unqualified members in Parliament going up and up and up.


More by :  Vasant G. Gandhi

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