Press Release: Karnataka Assembly Election 2018 - Analysis of Sitting MLAs Against Whom Charges Have Been Framed by The Court for Offences Falling Under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of The R.P Act,1951

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Apr 6, 2023, 2:14:39 AM4/6/23
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Press Release

Date: April 06, 2023

Dear Friends,

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Karnataka Election Watch have analysed the affidavits of 219 sitting MLAs from Karnataka Assembly 2018. Out of these 219 MLAs, there are 32 MLAs (15%) against whom charges have been framed by the court for offences falling under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of the R.P Act, 1951. This report analyses:


1.       The number of MLAs with criminal cases which fall under Section 8(1) of the RP Act who will be disqualified, if convicted


2.       The number of MLAs with criminal cases which fall under Section 8(2) of the RP Act and who will be disqualified, if they are convicted with a punishment of not less than 6 months,


3.       The number of MLAs with criminal cases which fall under Section 8(3) of the RP Act who will be disqualified, if they are convicted with a punishment of not less than 2 years. 




About Section 8(1), (2) & (3) of RP Act, 1951:


Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 lays down disqualifications for persons being chosen as, and for being, a ‘Member of either House of Parliament’ as well as a ‘Member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council’ of the State. Sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of Section 8 of the Act provide that a person convicted of an offence mentioned in any of these sub-sections shall stand disqualified from the date of conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his/her release. 

The offences listed under Section 8 (1), (2) & (3) are serious/grave/heinous in nature and cover offences under Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) such as murder, rape, dacoity, robbery, kidnapping, crimes against women, bribery, undue influence, enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, language, place of birth. It also covers offences relating to corruption and money laundering, offences relating to production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, offences relating to FERA, 1973, offences relating to hoarding and profiteering, adulteration of food and drugs, dowry etc. In addition, Section 8 also covers all the offences where a person is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years.



Summary and Highlights
    


Party Wise MLAs who have declared criminal cases where the charges have been framed under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of the R.P Act,1951

  • There are a total of 32 MLAs who have declared criminal cases where the charges have been framed under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of the R.P Act,1951.
  • Among parties, BJP has the highest number of MLAs i.e. 22, followed by INC with 5, JD(S) with 4 and 1 Independent MLA who has declared criminal cases where the charges have been framed under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of the R.P Act, 1951.

                                                                                                                                      

image.png
Figure: Party Wise Number of MLAs against whom charges have been framed by the court for offences falling under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of the R.P Act, 1951.

Analysis of Pending Criminal Cases of MLAs who have declared criminal cases where the charges have been framed under Section 8(1) (2) & (3) of the R.P Act,1951

As per details of criminal cases declared in the self sworn affidavits submitted by the MLAs while contesting Karnataka assembly elections in 2018 and bye-elections held thereafter, pendency in respect of criminal cases where charges have been framed under Sec 8 (1), (2), (3) is shown below. However, it may be pointed out that the status of these cases may have undergone a change over the years for some MLAs. The exact current status will be known only in respect of MLAs who decide to re-contest in the Karnataka Assembly elections 2023, after they file their nomination papers.

1.       The average number of years that criminal cases against 32 MLAs have been pending is 5 years.

2.       6 MLAs have a total of 9 criminal cases pending against them for ten years or more.



Criminal cases pending for the period:

16 Years

 

14 Years

 

11 Years

 

10 Years

Punishment of criminal conspiracy: G Somasekhara Reddy of BJP from Bellary City constituency.

 

Punishment for Defamation, Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory, Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter: B Sreeramulu of BJP from Molakalmuru constituency.

 

 

Punishment for criminal breach of trust, Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property: Ranganath H D of INC from Kunigal constituency.

 

Punishment for criminal intimidation, Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, Punishment for Rioting, Rioting, armed with deadly weapon, Assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation, Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees: Yashvanthrayagouda Patil of INC from Indi constituency.

 

Mischief by destroying or moving, etc., a land- mark fixed by public authority Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to amount of one hundred or (in case of agricultural produce) ten rupees, Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse, Punishment for Rioting, Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees: K.Y. Nanjegowda of INC from Malur constituency.

 

Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse, Rioting, Punishment for Rioting, Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees: D.C.Thammanna of JD(S) from Maddur constituency.

 
























Observations by ADR

 

         I.            On 10th August, 2021 the Supreme Court of India penalised 10 political parties that had contested the Bihar Assembly Elections, 2020 for not complying with the Supreme Court’s orders dated 13th February, 2020 and 25th September, 2018 that had directed political parties to publish and list out reasons on their website including their social media platforms for nominating candidates with criminal background within 72 hours of the selection of such candidates. Taking a lenient approach, the penalty of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh was imposed because the political parties had failed to follow the SC directions inspite of the repeated reminders from the SC and other main stakeholders. Infact, with their sole agenda of winning elections, political parties had purposely fielded such tainted candidates with criminal background and overlooked the critical credentials necessitated in a participatory democracy such as merit, integrity, honesty, qualifications and achievements.

 

      II.            The order dated 10th August, 2021 clearly indicates that neither the ‘Legislature nor the ‘political parties will ever take any concrete steps in the directions to eliminate the ‘Muscle-Power’ from the Indian Political System. The Supreme Court in its order dated 10th August, 2021 had sadly observed, “This Court, time and again, has appealed to the law-makers of the Country to rise to the occasion and take steps for bringing out necessary amendments so that the involvement of persons with criminal antecedents in polity is prohibited. All these appeals have fallen on the deaf ears. The political parties refuse to wake up from deep slumber…”

 

     III.            In order to curb increasing criminality in politics, the Supreme Court has, lately given six orders; 10th March, 2014 (Trial within one year); ; 27th August, 2014 (Prerogative of Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers of the State to not appoint ministers in their cabinet with criminal background); 1st November, 2017 (Special 11 fast-track courts); 25th September, 2018 (Publication of criminal cases); 13th February, 2020 (Reasons for giving tickets to candidates with criminal background), 10th August, 2021 (Penalty to Political Parties for not complying with SC orders). Unfortunately, none of these orders have been able to dissuade parties from giving tickets to candidates with criminal background. In 2018, the Supreme Court had said, The nation eagerly waits for such legislation, for the society has a legitimate expectation to be governed by proper constitutional governance. The voters cry for systematic sustenance of constitutionalism. The country feels agonized when money and muscle power become the supreme power.”

 

    IV.            This void in law is detrimental to the public interest. Only stringent action and measures are required to be taken by the judiciary. Mere warnings or levying miniscule penalties will certainly not help in eradicating criminal elements from elections. It is a known fact that reforms cannot be left to the wisdom of our leaders and political parties. Therefore, it is the need of the hour that the Supreme Court steps in the area left purposely vacant by our lawmakers and comes up with directions by debarring the entry of such elements from our electoral and political process.

 

      V.            It is high time that the courts dispense with the belief that ‘disqualification of candidates with criminal background is outside the scope of their powers.’ The ‘separation of powers’ doctrine has a concomitant doctrine called ‘checks and balances. While each pillar of the Federal Structure is independent in the exercise of its functions, however, if any one pillar does not do what it is supposed to do or does something wrong, the other two pillars are expected to step in to correct the distortions arising out of the inability or unwillingness of the one pillar to perform its responsibility as indicated in the constitution. The implication is that while the authority of each pillar is independent, it is not absolute. It is subject to be ‘checked’ and ‘balanced’ by the other two pillars.


Contact Details

Karnataka Election Watch

 

Prof Trilochan Sastry

IIM Bangalore

Founder Member,

National Election Watch,

Association for Democratic Reforms

+91 94483 53285

tsa...@gmail.com

Mr. Harish Narasappa

State Co-ordinator
har...@dakshindia.org

 

Ms. Kathyayini Chamaraj

State Co-ordinator

+91-97318-17177
kcha...@gmail.com

 

National Election Watch/Association for Democratic Reforms

 

Media and Journalist Helpline

 

+91 80103 94248

Email: a...@adrindia.org

Maj.Gen. Anil Verma (Retd)

Head

Association for Democratic Reforms,

National Election Watch

011 4165 4200,

+91 88264 79910

a...@adrindia.org,

anil...@adrindia.org

Prof JagdeepChhokar

IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)

Founder Member,

Association for Democratic Reforms,

National Election Watch

jchh...@gmail.com

Prof TrilochanSastry

IIM Bangalore

Founder Member,

Association for Democratic Reforms,

National Election Watch

+91 94483 53285

tsa...@gmail.com



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