oppn parties Criminals Will Continue To Be Lawmakers

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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Criminals Will Continue To Be Lawmakers

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Supreme Court has done the right thing by not barring netas who have serious criminal cases pending against them from contesting elections. For, although it is morally repugnant to have alleged criminals working as lawmakers, it is also not right for the courts to bar them in the absence of a law on the subject. The court has just said that these alleged criminals must declare in bold all charges pending against them in election affidavits and also advertise the fact by inserting paid advertisements in media.

Public opinion has to be generated to force parliament to enact a law that will bar netas who have cases on specific charges in any court of law. Since all parties depend on muscle power to win elections, no party will support such legislation. This is proved by the resistance to automatically disqualify netas from membership of parliament or assemblies from the date of conviction. The Congress and the BJP are both against it. It is a given fact that crime pays exponentially when netas support criminals. Hence, it is very difficult to smash the nexus between politicians and criminals.

Criminals have become an integral part of the Indian political system. The netas bestow patronage on them because they do all the dirty work for them. Some criminals work their way up the party hierarchy, or start their own parties, to contest elections and become lawmakers. Although these people maintain a clean record by never getting convicted, the whole world knows they are criminals, musclemen or bahubalis. Yet, given their importance in collecting funds, intimidating opponents and doing other sundry dirty work including organizing crowds at meetings, they have become indispensible to all parties.

The Supreme Court has done what was legally correct. The legislature must now do what is morally correct. For, the kind of people we allow to sit in our legislatures defines the kind of government we get, the kinds of law we make and the kind of political culture we develop. It is too much to expect the people to reject such candidates. They are too afraid to vote against them since they know that these criminals will hurt them for doing so. The best way is to have a law to bar them from contesting. But which party will do it? When they are trying to give concessions to convicted netas, it is unrealistic to expect them to bar alleged criminals. Hence, there is a need for building public opinion.