Sorry sight: Only 6% of criminal cases against MPs, MLAs ended in conviction, say govt data
New Delhi, Sept 19: No matter how much Indians prefer political system, it remains too distant to be real. According to data submitted by the central government to the Supreme Court, a meagre six per cent of criminal cases against the country's MPs and MLAs led to their conviction, IndiaSpend reported. It means ahead of some crucial state elections this year and the general election scheduled next year, criminal records are unlikely to prevent tainted people from aspiring to be people's representatives in state and central legislatures.
According to the Centre, of 3,884 cases, conviction for which leads to six years of ban from contesting elections, guilty judgments were given in only 38 cases while 560 saw acquittal.
To break it down state-wise, as many as 18 out of 29 states and two of seven Union Territories (UTs) saw zero conviction for criminal cases against central and state lawmakers and the cases include murder, attempt to murder, kidnap, hate speech and also criminal bullying.
Kerala saw most acquittals -- 147
The state which saw the highest number of acquittals is Kerala (147) while Tamil Nadu (68) and Bihar (48) led next. On the other hand, the number of convictions in these states was eight, three and none, respectively.
Odisha saw most convictions -- 10
In terms of convictions, Odisha topped the list with 10, Kerala (eight) and Uttar Pradesh (five).
The Centre's affidavit was submitted to the court during a hearing of a two-year-old public interest litigation which sought life ban for convicted politicians. In December last year, the judiciary asked the government to establish 12 special courts to deal with those cases and the courts were asked to start working on them from March 1 this year.
While courts were set up in 10 states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, two special courts were set up in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The rest of the states and one UT were to fast-track the cases that were pending, the report added.
Six months since March, it was found that 1,233 of these cases were handed over to the special courts and while judgments were pronounced in 136 of them (11 per cent), as many as 1,097 (89 per cent) were yet pending, the report added.