Criminalisation of politics: Important to differentiate between political cases and purely criminal cases


Criminal antecedents of people contesting elections, be it the parliamentary polls, or polls to the state assembly have always been a point of discussion. I have always believed that there is a need to differentiate cases that are political in nature and criminal cases.

Criminalisation of politics is a reality, and the phenomenon is dominant is some states of the Union of India. The issue catches the nation’s attention when lawmakers are booked for heinous crimes like murder, rape and extortion. But politicians too, time and again have highlighted the fact that there is a need to differentiate between cases that are political in nature, so as not to trivialize the whole discussion by clubbing these two sets of people together.

Political parties, for political reasons have backed such candidates and they have won elections too, in our first past the post system, where getting merely 30 per cent of the votes can ensure victory in the elections.

 I would like to highlight that Association of Democratic reforms (ADR) has been doing a stellar job of bringing to light the cases pending against elected lawmakers. As it is said, sunshine is the best disinfectant, ADR has been assiduously compiling this data for the benefit of the reader. I am sure that the data from ADR what we have published today, you, the reader will find it useful.

National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 62 newly elected MPs of Rajya Sabha 2020.

Criminal background

• MPs with criminal cases: Out of the 62 MPs analysed, 16 (26%) MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves.

• MPs with serious criminal cases: 11 (18%) MPs have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to Murder, attempt to murder, Rape, dacoity, theft etc.

• MPs with cases related to Murder: 1 MP has declared case of murder (IPC Section-302).

• MPs with cases related to Attempt to Murder: 2 MPs have declared cases of attempt to murder (IPC Section-307).

• MPs with cases related to Crimes against Women: 3 MPs have declared cases related to crimes against women. Out of these 3 MPs, 1 MP has declared case related to rape (IPC Section-376).

• Party wise MPs with criminal cases: 2 (11%) out of 18 MPs from BJP, 3 (33%) out of 9 MPs from  INC,  2 (100%)  out of 2 MPs from NCP, 2 (50%) out of 4 MPs from YSRCP and 1 MP each from AITC (25%), BJD (25%), DMK (33%), RJD (50%), JDU (50%), RPI(A) (100%), Independent (100%) have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

• State wise MPs with criminal cases: 4 out of 7 (57%) MPs from Maharashtra, 2 out of 5 (40%) MPs from Bihar, 1 out of 6 (17%) MPs from Tamil Nadu, 1 out of 5 (20%) MPs from West Bengal, 2 out of 4 (50%) Andhra Pradesh MPs, 1 out of 4 (25%) MPs from Gujarat, 1 out of 4 (25%) MPs from Odisha, 1 out of 3 (33%) MPs from Madhya Pradesh, 1 out of 3 (33%) MPs from Assam, 1 out of 3 (33%) MPs from Rajasthan and 1 out of 2 (50%) MPs from Jharkhand have declared criminal cases against themselves.

Financial background

Crorepati MPs:  Out of the 62 newly elected MPs, 52 (84%) are crorepatis.

 High asset MPs*:  The top three MPs with highest assets are given below:

• Low asset MPs: The details of three MPs with the lowest assets are given below:

• Party  wise crorepati MPs:  14  (78%)  out of 18 M Ps f r o m   B J P,   8 (89%)  out of 9 MPs from  INC,  3 (75%)  out of 4 MPs from  AITC, 3 (100%)  out of 3 MPs from DMK, 3 (75%) out of 4 MPs from  YSRCP, 3 (75%)  out of 4 MPs from BJD, 2 (100%) out of 2 MPs from AIADMK, 2 (100%)  out of 2 MPs from TRS, 2 (100%) out of 2 MPs from  RJD, 2 (100%)  out of 2 MPs from NCP, 2 (100%) out of 2 MPs from JD(U), 1 MP (100%) each from NPP, CPI(M), Bodoland Peoples Front, SHS, JMM, JD(S), RPI(A) and Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.

 • Average assets: The average assets value of the newly elected MPs to the Rajya Sabha, 2020 is Rs. 74.04 crores.

• Party wise average assets:  Among major parties, the average assets for 18 BJP MPs is Rs 40.86 crores, 9 INC MPs is Rs 20.32 crores, 4 YSRCP MPs is Rs 744.91 crores, 4  AITC  MPs  is  Rs.2.59 crores, 4 BJD MPs is Rs.1.98 crores  and  3  DMK  MPs is Rs. 4.97 crores.

• MPs with high liabilities: 19 MPs have declared liabilities of Rs 1 crore and above, and the details of the top 3 MPs are as follows:

• MPs with high income as declared in ITR*: The table below shows 3 MPs who have declared highest income in their Income Tax Returns.

Other background details

Education Details of MPs: 10 (16%) MPs have declared their education qualification to be between 8th pass and 12th  pass,  while  31 (50%) MPs have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or graduate professional. 14 (23%) MPs have declared themselves to be postgraduates while 6 (10%) MPs have declared they are Doctorates and 1 MP has declared Diploma.

Age details of MPs:  30 (48%)  MPs have de – clared their age to be b e t w e e n   3 1   a n d   6 0 years while 32 (52%) MPs have declared their age to be between 61 and 90 years. The oldest MP is H. D. Devegowda aged 87 years from Karnataka and the youngest MP is Mausam Noor aged 40 from West Bengal.

Gender details of MPs: Out of 62 MPs, only 8 (13%) newly elected MPs are women. Tarun Nangia is host & producer of Legally Speaking