While a better section of society hails the Supreme Court’s judgment disqualifying an MP or MLA immediately on his conviction, a bunch of RTI replies procured by the Forum for Good Governance from the state police reveal that 83 of the 295 sitting MLAs in the state have cases pending against them and that 54 of them have been slapped with criminal charges.
Of the 60 MPs from the state, 14 have cases pending against them, eight for criminal offences. Besides, eight of the 90 MLCs have cases pending against them and three of them face criminal charges.
The data also shockingly reveals that 28 TDP MLAs are facing 83 cases, 14 TRS MLAs 57 cases, six MIM MLAs 39 cases and 26 Congress MLAs 40 cases.
Congress has three MPs with criminal cases pending against them, followed by TRS with two MPs. TDP, YSRCP and AIMIM have one MP each with criminal cases.
The information, collected from all district offices of the department, does not include cases pending with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The forum, which says that criminalisation of politics is damaging the electoral system and making people lose confidence in the democratic system, has appealed to all political parties not to field candidates with pending cases in the coming elections.
“We do not mean to say that all are bad but it is due to a few that the system is considered bad. We appeal to all political parties to deny ticket to those with pending cases against them,” said M Padmanabha Reddy, secretary of the forum.
According to D Reddappa Reddy, a retired High Court judge and president of the forum, amendments to the Representation of People Act is the need of the hour. “RPA should be strengthened to eliminate people with criminal track record from contesting elections.
“Despite several recommendations sent by the Law Commission of India, governments have never implemented them,” he pointed out.