Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Wednesday had pointed out the increasing criminalization in politics while directing the Centre to come up with a scheme to set-up special fast-track courts that would deal exclusively with the criminal cases pending against Legislators and Parliamentarians.
Based on the information available with Odisha Election Watch on sitting MLAs of the Odisha Assembly, it is seen that out of 147 MLAs whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 52 MLAs or 35% of the total MLAs had declared pending criminal cases against themselves at the time of contesting in elections held in 2014. Out of these, 41 had declared serious criminal cases and form or 28% of the total number of sitting MLAs. Among the political parties, BJD has the maximum number of MLAs with criminal cases (32) followed by INC, with 9 MLAs and BJP with 8 MLAs.
|Party Name||Total number of MLAs analyzed||MLAs with declared Criminal Cases||% of MLAs with declared criminal cases||MLAs with serious declared criminal cases||% of MLAs with serious declared criminal cases|
|BJD||117||32||27 %||23||20 %|
|INC||16||9||56 %||8||50 %|
|BJP||10||8||80 %||7||70 %|
|IND||2||2||100 %||2||100 %|
|SAMATA KRANTI DAL||1||1||100 %||1||100 %|
The status of Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha with declared criminal cases against themselves was also analysed. Out of 21 MPs from Odisha whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 3(14% of total MPs from Odisha) have declared cases against themselves. But it is to be noted that one of the Lok Sabha MP from BJDhas declared serious criminal cases pending which forms 5% of the total Lok Sabha MPS from Odisha. 2 MPs from BJD and 1 MP from BJPhave declared criminal cases against themselves.
|Party Name||Total number of winners analyzed||winners with declared Criminal Cases||% of winners with declared criminal cases||winners with serious declared criminal cases||% of winners with serious declared criminal cases|
|BJD||20||2||10.0 %||1||5.0 %|
|BJP||1||1||100.0 %||0.0 %|
The Upper House of the Parliament or the Rajya Sabha too is not immune from MPs from Odisha with declared criminal cases. Out of 10Rajya Sabha MPs from Odisha whose affidavits were analysed by ADR, 2 have declared criminal cases. Thus, 20% of the total Rajya Sabha MPs from Odisha have declared criminal cases against themselves.It is to be noted that none has declared any serious criminal cases pending against themselves.
|Party Name||Total number of MPs analyzed||MPs with declared Criminal Cases||% of MPs with declared criminal cases||MPs with serious declared criminal cases||% of MPs with serious declared criminal cases|
It is to be noted here that almost all the major political parties have winners with declared criminal cases.
Criminalization of politics continues to remain a major concern in India as several sitting MPs and MLAs facing charges of corruption and serious offences such as murder, rape and kidnapping continue to be lawmakers. It is thus hoped that the Centre follows through with the proposed scheme of setting up 12 special courts for a year to fast-track criminal cases against sitting Legislators and Parliamentarians.