Criminalisation of Politics
Association for Democratic Rights (ADR) Study
- Percentage of Members of Lok Sabha with Criminal Charges is increasing each passing Lok Sabha since independence.
|17th Lok Sabha (2019)||43%|
|16th Lok Sabha (2014)||34%|
|14th Lok Sabha (2004)||24%|
- Chances of winning of candidate with criminal cases in Lok Sabha is 13% whereas with clean record is 5%
NN Vohra Committee Report (1993)
- Spoke about criminalization of politics and of the nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in India.
Reasons for Criminalisation of Politics
|Increasing Money Power in Elections||Elections require huge expenditure which is impossible for normal person to fund.|
|Winnability only criteria||Parties focus on winnability of the candidate instead of education, morals and social work|
|Loopholes in functioning||Voters are not usually aware of the history of the candidate, qualification and cases pending against him.|
|Weak judicial system||3.2 crore pendency => takes long time to decide cases and as a result, criminals sit in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies|
|Historical Reason||Indira Gandhi’s 1969 decision to ban corporate donations to political parties led to crime-politics nexus. That action made campaigning dependent on black money|
|Crisis of morality||In materialistic society|
Impact of Criminalisation of Politics
|Decreasing legitimacy of Parliament|
|Increased Disruptions||People with such tainted backgrounds have been seen to disrupt the functioning of the Parliament|
|Funds not used for intended purposes||Such member under utilise funds like MPLADs|
|Impact on Police||Padmanabhaiah Committee on Police Reforms : It is the criminalization of politics that led to criminalisation of police|
|Views of various Committees||NN Vohra Committee => Criminalisation of Politics is making democracy hollow.|
- Lily Thomas Case : Already discussed (Click here to see)
- Association of Democratic Reforms Case : Supreme Court ordered Mandatory declaration of assets and existing criminal charges in self-sworn affidavits to the Election Commission of India prior to elections
- NOTA Button introduced to force political parties to put up better candidates .
- Expense Monitoring Cell setup by Election Commission of India
- Bar candidates against whom charges have been framed by the court in heinous crimes from contesting elections
- Lifetime ban on convicted politicians from contesting elections (as suggested by Election Commission of India in Nov 2018)
- Set up fast track courts to dispose criminal cases pending against MPs & MLAs within a year.
- State Funding of elections => Black money will not be needed
- Make informed citizenry using Election Commission of India campaigns and utilising efforts of NGOs like ADR, PUCL etc