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news details
Modi Ministers facing criminal charges
'11 of the 31' CMs and '24 of 78'
5/20/2018 11:03:34 PM
Jamwal Mahadeep Singh

The write up cropped into
my consciousness when 'Association for Democratic Reforms' (ADR) & 'National Election Watch' (NEW) shivered me with a jolt that much of the law makers for the country and states have criminal cases against them. Sections of the criminals we will meet in Parliament or State Assemblies are immunized by the Constitutional oath taken to route in as MP/MLA to occupy musical chair. The only difference between them and criminals in society is they are protected criminals in Parliament/Assemblies whereas other are haunted criminals in society. Before shaping up the write up, let us understand what 'Association for Democratic Reforms' (ADR) & 'National Election Watch' (NEW) is? With the objective of improving governance and to strengthen democracy by working in the area of electoral and political reforms, concentrating, on criminalization in the political process, among other fields, it came into existence in 1999 and regularly furnishing its reports in public domain in their research work based on the affidavits, mandated by Supreme Court to be submitted to disclose their criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission of India.
It is advantageous to admonish that in 2004, the number of Lok Sabha MPs facing criminal charges was 24 percent, in 2009 it had increased to 30 percent, and in the newly elected Lok Sabha 2014, the number reached the mark of 34 percent. Reminding of his commitment of decriminalizing politics, made during election campaign, these two NGOs "Association for Democratic Reforms" & "National Election Watch", working for governmental and elections reforms, have penned to Narendra Modi in 2014, after election results, apprising him about 21 percent of the total MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha facing 'serious criminal charges' and requested the Prime Minister designate to encompass only unblemished representatives in his Cabinet. Modi overlooked the worry of most illustrious NGOs and back tracked his election commitment of decriminalizing politics and providing a neat and clean government. A posting available on search engines updated on Aug 06, 2016 reveals that 31% ministers in Modi Government have declared criminal cases against them. It further reveals that 14 of these ministers, that are 18%, have declared serious criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women against them. Ministers with criminal cases are not limited to the union government alone; even in state governments across the country. Some of the states are: Bihar government's new alliance "JD(U)-BJP" have 75% ministers facing criminal charges as compared to 67% in previous alliance of "JD(U)--RJD". Uttar Pradesh government has 44% ministers facing criminal charges. Maharashtra has 46% ministers facing criminal charges. Telangana having 90% ministers facing criminal charges. There are 113 ministers from various state assemblies who have serious criminal cases, with Jharkhand leading with nine of 11 (82%) who have serious charges. In Delhi, four of the seven (57%); in Telangana, nine of 17 (53%); in Maharashtra 18 of 39 (46%); in Bihar, 11 of 28 (39%); in Uttarakhand, two of eight (25%) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their self-sworn affidavits. Here we are supposed to be aware that the criminal lot occupying musical chairs in the governments are due to the blessings of PM in the centre and CMs in the states. How? To reach at conclusion we have to visit the rule book of the country well known to everyone as 'Constitution of India'. Article 75(1) of Constitution of India clarify that PM shall be appointed by the President and other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister in the union whereas CM shall be appointed by the Governor and Ministers shall be appointed by the governor on the advice of the CM. who so ever is inducted in the Union Cabinet or State Cabinet is the prerogative of the PM and CM accordingly. Based on the Constitutional provision, the entry of criminal ministers in union cabinet is attributed to Modi. Thus he has failed to provide a neat and clean government as promised by accommodating 31% MPs facing criminal charges as his Cabinet Ministers.
Recent data released by the Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) in Feb 2018, based on affidavits of current Chief Ministers (CMs) in State Assemblies and Union Territories across the nation, 35% chief ministers in India have criminal cases against them. Out of the all 31 chief ministers analyzed from state assemblies and Union territories, 11 (35%) chief ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves. Further, of the 35%, 26% CMs have declared serious criminal cases, including those related to murder, attempt to murder, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, criminal intimidation, among others. Maharashtra CM tops the list of CMs with 22 criminal cases (charges "abetment of assault, causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, being part of an unlawful assembly, rioting, voluntarily causing hurt). The Maharashtra government claims now in 2018, there is no case against CM. Kerala CM has 11 cases (charges "cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property", rioting and criminal conspiracy), Delhi CM 10 cases, (charges against him being unlawful assembly, obstructing a public servant from the discharge of their duty and defamation), Jharkhand CM 8 cases (charges as obstruction of lawful apprehension of another person, trespassing with preparation for causing hurt, criminal trespass, obstructing public servant from discharging their duty and wrongful restraint), Punjab CM has 4 cases (charges as; cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, forgery, criminal breach of trust and causing disappearance of evidence), Uttar Pradesh CM has 4 cases (charges as; injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult, rioting, trespassing on burial places, causing mischief by fire or explosive substance and criminal intimidation), Andhra Pradesh CM has 3 cases, Telangana CM 2 cases (charges as: criminal intimidation, unlawful restraint and unlawful assembly), Puducherry CM has 2 cases (charges as disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), Bihar CM has one case of serious nature of murder, and Jammu and Kashmir CM too has one case of defamation.
The number of criminal ministers in the Union Government as well as in State Governments, MPs in Parliament, and MLAs in State Assemblies is so alarming that one is constrained to comment that we are ruled by criminals and these are the criminals who legislate for the citizens. The law makers are themselves law breakers. We can be justifiably proud of our Election Commission, its conduct of elections and smooth transition of power but the fault line that has developed and dangerous to democracy is the growing number of parliamentarians and legislators with criminal antecedents. But bad luck of the country men that even concern of Apex court on the entry of criminals in government does not suit to politicians and present PM has not felt to take the observation of Supreme Court in positive note. Supreme Court in 2014 said: it could not disqualify the ministers, as the constitution allows prime ministers to appoint their own cabinets, but said it hoped the premier would. India's highest court has said that politicians with a "criminal background" should not serve in government. No legislature in India, including its parliament and all the state assemblies, has any member with a criminal case pending against them. The right to be elected is not a fundamental right hence anyone having even a slightest history of crime should be barred constitutionally to enter into election fray even at the village level.
How Some States are subverting the Rule of Law to drop criminal cases against Politicians. The spate of withdrawal of pending criminal cases against politicians in UP, Rajasthan, MP and Kerala in recent months points at the overpowering stranglehold of the political establishment on all the organs of governance. We are smelling that members of parliament and legislative assemblies accused of committing crimes will soon be a thing of the past not because (a) they will all be honorably acquitted in the cases pending against them, or (b) political parties will stop giving tickets to people with pending criminal cases or (c) voters will stop voting for candidates with pending criminal cases, but because pending criminal cases against politicians aspiring to contest elections will be withdrawn by governments in power. How we can dream of a healthy democracy? The criminal politicians to be tried in fast track courts, political parties should stop giving tickets and voters to stop voting for tainted candidates.
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