EDEN IAS

40 percent of newly-elected Rajya Sabha MPs have criminal cases

UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS | 40 PER CENT OF NEWLY ELECTED RAJYA SABHA MPS HAVE CRIMINAL CASES: REPORT | 18TH JUNE | IE

SYLLABUS SECTION: GS II (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE)

WHY IN THE NEWS?

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch report, 40 percent of newly-elected Rajya Sabha MPs have criminal cases.

  • A joint statement issue by the National Election Watch and ADR clarify that the survey report has been prepare base on the affidavits file by the different candidates.

ABOUT:

  • According to ADR, 233 MPs in the current Lok Sabha are facing criminal charges, up from 187 in 2014 and 162 in 2009.
  • According to the report, 53 (93 percent) of the newly-elected Rajya Sabha members are millionaires | and 40 percent of newly-elected Rajya Sabha MPs have criminal cases.

IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT (SC) JUDGEMENTS TO CURB THE CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICS:

Criminals entering politics and law-making institutes erode public trust in democracy and have negative fallout on the overall governance setup.

Union of India v Association for Democratic Reforms (2002)

Electors had a fundamental right to know the antecedents of candidates contesting elections to hold public office.

PUCL v Union of India (2004)

Section 33B of the Representation of People Act (RPA) was held unconstitutional and void as it infringe the right of electors to know, a constituent of the fundamental right to free speech and expression, and hindere free and fair elections, which is part of the basic structure of the Constitution.

  1. Prabhakaran v P. Jayarajan (2005)

The Court elucidate upon the scope and purport of Section 8(3) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 which provides criteria for disqualification. It was observe that the purpose of enacting disqualification under Section 8(3) of RPA is to prevent the criminalization of politics.

Lily Thomas Vs Union of India (2013)
  • Members of Parliament and State Legislatures convicted of a crime with a minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment would cease to be members of the house.
Law Commission Report on Electoral Disqualification 2014
  • The Law Commission in its 244th Report recorded that disqualification upon conviction had proved ineffective in preventing the criminalization of politics.
  • Disqualification at the stage of framing of charges, accompanied by other legal safeguards could be an effective means to curb such criminalization.
  • Special courts to be set up across the country to fast-track the long-pending trials of lawmakers (2017)
  • Court (2018) held that all candidates will have to declare their criminal antecedents to the ECI before contesting polls

Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS

SOURCE: IE

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