New Delhi, September 25: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to bar tainted lawmakers from fighting elections or disqualifying them, saying it won't interfere into the matter. The apex court said that the decision on disqualification is to be taken by Parliament and not the court. The apex court, however, issued directions on curbing criminalisation in politics and asked political parties to ensure that the candidates give proper details of their criminal antecedents in the affidavits filed with the Election Commission.
While the Supreme Court has left the decision on disqualification on Parliament, it is to be noted that one in every three lawmakers in India is tainted. Out of 4,896 lawmakers in the country, 1,765 have declared criminal cases against them. National Election Watch: 64 MPs/MLAs in India Have Declared Kidnapping Charges Against Themselves; Check Complete List.
Since you have the ultimate right to elect the lawmakers, you can find details of declared criminal cases against lawmakers and candidates contesting elections online on the National Election Watch website myneta.info available in both Hindi and English languages. All it takes is to search the name of the candidate/lawmaker and click on the name appearing in the search result. This will lead you to the affidavit filed by the respective lawmaker/candidate.
According to the findings released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO that works for electoral and political reforms, in July this year, at least 16 BJP MPs and MLAs - the highest for any political party in India - have criminal charges related to kidnapping filed against them.
It said that the affidavits of 770 MPs and 4,086 state legislators revealed that 1,024 or some 21 per cent of lawmakers in the country have declared "serious criminal charges against themselves". Among these, 64 have declared charges related to kidnappings. Of them, 17 belong to various political outfits while 4 are independents.
A recent report by the Government of India also stated that Uttar Pradesh tops in the state-wise list of pending criminal cases against lawmakers, with 248 MPs & MLAs involved and 539 pending cases.
The litigation on tainted lawmakers was moved by NGO Public Interest Foundation, which demanded the apex court's intervention after pointing out that 34 per cent of the elected lawmakers in the incumbent Lok Sabha are facing trial in criminal cases.