A new study by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed that a significant number of lawmakers have cases of crimes against women in their name. ADR and National Election Watch (NEW) have analysed 4845 out of 4896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. It includes 768 out of 776 affidavits of MPs. Also, it has affidavits of 4077 out of 4120 MLAs from all the states of India.

The following were the key findings of the report:

  • 45 MLAs and 3 MPs have cases of crimes against women registered against them.
  • In the last 5 years, recognized parties have given tickets to 26 candidates who had declared cases related to rape.
  • In the last 5 years, 14 independent candidates with declared cases related to rape have contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State assembly elections.
  • Among the states, Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 12, followed by West Bengal with 11, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh each with 5 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.
  • Among the major parties in the last 5 years, 47 candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by the BJP. The second highest number of candidates, i.e. 35 who had declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BSP, followed by 24 candidates from INC who had declared cases related to crimes against women who had contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State Assembly Elections in last 5 years.
  • In the last 5 years, 18 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Elections. Similarly, 100 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the state assemblies’ elections.

Recommendations of the Report

The report by ADR and NEW recommended the following:

  • Candidates with a serious criminal background should be debarred from contesting elections.
  • Political parties should disclose the criteria based on which candidates are given tickets.
  • Cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast-tracked and decided upon in a time-bound manner.

The numbers reveal a worrying pattern

The high number of lawmakers with criminal background reveal the worrying state of politics in the country. Major political parties have given tickets to candidates with criminal background for gains in the elections. However, such a number puts the safety of women in dire question. How can we trust lawmakers with a criminal history to bring lawful justice?

The report said, “All major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crimes against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens. These are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognizance have been taken by the courts. Hence, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament.”

In light of recent cases of rape involving political leaders, quick intervention is necessary to put a hold on this trend of lawmakers abusing their power.

Read: Unnao Rape Case: MLA Kuldeep Sengar In CBI Custody

Nimisha is an intern with SheThepeople.TV

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