Around 36% of parliamentarians and state Assembly members have criminal cases against them. Of 4,896 MPs and MLAs in total, 1,765 face criminal trial in 3,045 pending cases, according to the Law Ministry. Legislators from Uttar Pradesh top the list, followed by Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
The government collected the data from 2014 to 2017 from High Courts, Assemblies and Union Territories and compiled them in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, The Times of India reported. These pending 3,045 cases will be assigned to the special courts that will be set up to hear matters against lawmakers.
In November 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to submit details of of cases involving MPs and MLAs and also frame a central scheme to set up courts that will exclusively try criminal cases against lawmakers. In December, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha gave the Centre two months to collect information on the cases involving lawmakers.
The bench gave the orders after hearing a petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who sought a lifetime ban on convicted politicians.
The government had told the Supreme Court that it would set up 12 such special courts in a year with a budget of Rs 7.8 crore. In its affidavit, the Law Ministry said the Centre had released Rs 65.04 lakh in 2017 and will release the rest in 2018-’19, according to The Hindu.