Group 4

Criminalization In Politics

A Political Science Project
Submitted To: Prof. Ms. Shveta Dhaliwal

In the fulfillment for the requirement of the project on the subject of Political Science of B.A., L.L.B. (Hons.), Third Semester




Ms. Shveta Dhaliwal Assistant Professor in Political Science RGNUL, Punjab Patiala

Patiala (Punjab) Date: ____

SUPERVISOR’S CERTIFACTE This is to certify that the Project Report entitled: CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICS submitted to the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab in partial fulfillment of the requirements for B.A. LL.B (Hons.), Third semester is an original and bona-fide research work carried out by Nikita Vasu, Abhimanyu Verma, Riya Prem Raaj and Abhinav Mishra under my supervision and guidance. No part of this study has been submitted to any University for the award of any Degree or Diploma whatsoever.

______________________ (Ms. Shveta Dhaliwal)




We feel great pleasure in presenting the project under study. We hope that the readers will find the project interesting and that the project in its present from shall be well received by all. The project contains the reasons and explanations’ for the Criminalization of Politics in India and ways and means to curb it. Every effort is made to keep the project error free. We would gratefully acknowledge the suggestions to improve the project to make it more useful.


iv .RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 ACKNOWLEDGMENT We have been taught the subject of Political Science by our Respected Assistant Professor. Shveta Dhaliwal who helped us all through in the accomplishment of this project. Ms. Ma’am helped us to gather the various sources which we could give final shape to the topic under study. We. also thank the members of the library staff and computer section for the cooperation in making available the necessary books and accessing the internet even during their free time which helped make the project even more interesting and informative. She not only provided us a platform to compile but also guided us at all levels.

causes and solutions have been discussed. the Effect of Criminalization of Politics in India. its evaluation. Credible authentic internet and book sources have been used so as to aid the research project at hand. v . scope.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 RESEARCH SCHEME This project involves Analytical style of research wherein.

............................... ELECTORAL REFORMS ....................................................... 6 1............................. 11 3................... CAUSES OF CRIMINALIZATION IN POLITICS ............................................................................................................................... 8 CHAPTER III.............................................................. 21 4.................................................................................................................... 11 1..................................... CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS .................................... 4 4................................................................................. INTRODUCTION.......... KINDS OF “CRIMINALIZATION IN POLITICS” ..................................................................................... INTRODUCTION........ 19 1........................... 11 2.............................................................................................................. 19 2...... SCAMS IN INDIA ......... 1 1............................................................................................... 6 2................................................. 6 3.................................................................................................................. 19 REMEDIES TO PREVENT THE CRIMINALIZATION IN POLITICS ....... 24 vi ..................................... DEFINITION ................................................ REASONS FOR THIS CRIMINALIZATION ...................................................... 20 3................................................................................................................. CANDIDATURE AND CRIMINALIZATION – THE LAWS AT PRESENT ................................ 1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I .................................... 11 CORRUPTION AND POLITICAL NEXUS IN INDIA ............................................................................................................ 1 2........................................ SUGGESTIONS TO CURB THE ISSUE ............................................................................................................................................................ 2 3. 18 CHAPTER IV ........................................... 6 Global and Indian Perspective Of Criminalization ............................................................................................................................ INTRODUCTION...................................................... THE NEED FOR SUCH LAWS .. 5 CHAPTER II ........................................................ RECOMMENDATIONS ...............

Greater. Indians Great.Ramachandra Guha. India awaits to be freed again. The Hindu. . . Greatest.“After 64 years of Independence. To be freed the criminals who have muscled their way to power”.

in its definitional sense. 1. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. This is so because the modern day definition of Politics imbibes in itself the concept of “Governance” which is holistic. The modern definition of Criminalization in politics tends to incorporate more than just the criminalization in “Politics” (in the purer sense of the term) and extends the scope of the term to forms of criminalization in Electoral Politics. In India. Criminalization of Politics seeps through the various strata of Indian governance. Judiciary. it only makes logical sense to broaden the scope of Criminalization of politics to the extent that all the facets of 1 Retrieved From: http://www. Executive and even the Administration. these fundamentals are governed by the basic spirit of governance. in the context of this project.1 POLITICS Ideally. right from the lowest-rung Babu charging a petty bribe to get a job done. to the top-rung IAS Officer or MP/MLA indulging in some form of perverted activity undermining the ideal scenario of governance. Hence. it is more important to define “Politics” since the scope of “Politics” plays a crucial role in setting the parameters of “Criminalization”. Policy-making Politics. Below is a break-down of Criminalization and Politics. DEFINITION Essentially. “Criminalization of Politics” refers to those acts carried out by persons with Legislative. “Politics” is defined as “the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy”1. Today. On 29/10/2012 1 . which is Democracy.merriam-webster. (as opposed to the belief that it is limited to political authority) which undermine the constitutional fundamentals of India. one would opt to define “Criminalization” before defining “Politics”. Judicial or Executive Authority.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION but in the context of this subject-study.

may also be referred to as electoral fraud. However. be it with regard to any country. these forms are not exhaustive since an exhaustive approach cannot be adopted for the findings of such a broad On 29/1/2012. 2.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 governance can be covered. and when this is negated. acts which disrupt fair elections but are not illegal. The conventional definition of the term includes the persons involved are the high-ranking government officials. 2. However. Article 102 (1)(A) of the Indian Constitution bars an MP or an MLA from holding any office of profit under the Government of India or in any state other than an office declared by the Parliament by law as not disqualifying its holder2. on moral grounds. However.1 POLITICAL CANDIDATES WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS/PENDING CHARGES 2 Retrieved From: http://eci.nic. when a person with a pending criminal charge gets a ticket to contest the elections. the persons involved are not restricted to only the high-ranking officials. CRIMINALIZATION While exploring the subject of “Criminalization in Politics”. or in amore legally specific context. 1. When the Telecom Minister misappropriates a certain amount of money (however significant) to his benefit.1 ELECTORAL FRAUD Electoral Fraud refers to such acts which disrupt a process of fair elections illegally. in the course of this project. it is a form of Criminalization of Politics. KINDS OF “CRIMINALIZATION IN POLITICS” This section is an attempt at bringing forth the existing facets and forms in which the criminalization of politics exists in the Indian Governance. it can be called Criminalization Of Politics. the term “criminalization” is that it is a perverted form of a process and encompasses but is not limited to the term “crime”. and could well include 2.pdf. what must be kept in mind is that in quintessence. As an illustration. 2 . This will be substantiated with examples and illustrations.1.

Page 2 Retrieved From: http://www. they also disrupt the process of free and fair elections by using unfair means and methods.Kalmadi) to financial irregularities by municipal corporations which are alleged to have taken place in projects such as slum rehabilitation. Mr. Approximately 38% of the persons contesting electoral polls have a criminal record.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 The criminalisation of our political system has been observed almost unanimously by all recent committees on politics and electoral reform. is telling on musclemen4. as it bars candidates with criminal backgrounds from contesting an election" he said. They fear the weak and poor to vote for a specific candidate or manipulate the vote-banks. This has resulted in lack of transparency. MUSCLE POWER USED TO GATHER VOTES A common happening in the electoral politics of today.Y Qureshi. At various instances. marking of floodlines. the Election Commissioner Of India. widespread corruption. The problem with such persons sitting for polls is that not only do they have no credibility. “The draft bill on electoral reforms will resolve this problem when it comes into force. is musclemen using the fear psychosis to gather votes. and the pervasiveness of so-called ‘black money’.thehindu. Strict measures were enforced. Pg. Criminalisation of politics has many forms. 2. It is widely believed that the cost of fighting elections has climbed far above the legal spending limits.2.4 3 . it seems. said back in 2011 that persons with a criminal record do not deserve to sit for polls.Raja) or the Commonwealth Scam (responsible: S.2.5 2. On 29/1/2012 5 Background paper on electoral reforms. musclemen have been used to scare away competing candidates (and their means may extend to inflicting damage and even causing death at times) POLITICAL SCAMS Scams in the (purely) Political arena have skyrocketed in the past 5 years. From upscale scams such as the 2G scam (responsible: A.S. granting of 3 4 Background Paper On Electoral Reforms.ece. but perhaps the most alarming among them is the significant number of elected representatives with criminal charges pending against them3. bringing in 639 companies of paramilitary forces to prevent muscle power effects. The effect.

This issue will be dealt CWG. 7 Vohra Committee Report 4 . CRIMINAL GANGS ENJOYING PATRONAGE OF POLITICIANS In Chapter 4 of the report of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution. cites the Vohra report as follows: “The nexus between the criminal gangs. and when such actions are corrupt. or.”7 3.6 Or it so happens that bureaucratic officials and their actions end up affecting the political scenario of a country.4. large-scale scams (for eg: 2G. BUREAUCRATIC SCAMS The nexus between bureaucracy and politics has been explained in the preceding portion of this chapter. it leads to criminalization of politics. the governments try to shield bureaucratic officials (Eg: Chhatisgargh government trying to shield Babulal Aggarwal. On 29/1/2012. CAUSES OF CRIMINALIZATION IN POLITICS One can attribute the causes of Criminalization in Politics to the fact that India is still a country where the mechanisms which are quintessential to running the various administrative systems are not free of loopholes which feed to the need of men wanting to derive the “extra edge”. 6 Retrieved From: in greater depth.html. to overcome the weaknesses which have been attributed to them by the system itself.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 transferrable development rights. change in land reservations. bureaucracy and politicians has come out clearly in various parts of the country” and that “some political leaders become the leaders of these gangs/armed senas and over the years get themselves elected to local bodies. police. Political scams have increased by leaps and bounds.3. State assemblies. 2.) have bureaucratic officials involved in them. city centre project. thus contributing further to the Criminalization of Politics in India. Many times. subsequently in this project. etc. massive cost escalation in major projects and change in rules for bus rapid transit system. the richest IAS officer of India at that point of time. and national parliament. 2. At other times. housing schemes.

RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 4. Electoral reforms such as a fixed amount of finances and greater financial transparency by the Electoral candidates which have been implemented to an extent (but are still ridden with loopholes). etc. ELECTORAL REFORMS While solutions to reduction of Criminalization in Politics have been provided in detail in the subsequent chapters of this project. is what is required in the crux of the matter. 5 . it is important to introduce the concept of Electoral Reforms and how they can benefit the dire situation of Indian Politics. instead of getting various committees to sit on issues for ages. reduction of Poll Booth Manipulation.

2.html on 20th October 2011 at 12:00 pm 9 Criminalization of and even threatens judiciary. it controls press. THE NEED FOR SUCH LAWS According to the written law or reports firstly talking about the Constitution of India. 1993 (Manushi) 10 Article 105. many privileges and powers are being given to the members of the parliament for the safeguard of their positions and there are also certain conditions which the candidate should follow. The prevailing trend is spreading like cancer. Madhu Kishwar.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 CHAPTER II GLOBAL AND INDIAN PERSPECTIVE OF CRIMINALISATION 1. Religion has never sought to dictate politics in India because there has been no consensual centralized religious authority which could claim to speak on behalf of the entire Hindu or Muslim population. Modern India is witnessing the very opposite of the battles fought in Europe to free politics from encroachments by religion. INTRODUCTION The democracy of India has shown a refreshing ability to adapt to situation and uphold democratic institutions and practices.10 But 8 Reema Sujay at Legal Services http://www. and thus is destroying the very foundation of democracy. as such the people can never hope that the politicians would take any initiative to rectify this evil because of their own goods.8 Unlike in Europe. has a long history of intervening in the secular domain. it is spoiling bureaucracy by making it partial. especially the Roman Catholic Church. The Criminalization of Politics needs special attention by the people because the subject revolves around the vested interests of politicians of all the parts of the society.legalserviceindia. The Constitution of India 6 .9 Thus India is in an alarming situation which at the earliest needs to be curbed. where religious authority. India has no such comparable tradition. It is damaging all the constitutional safeguards of democracy. that is.

Basically the act came in force to provide the necessary guidelines for the electoral process in India.14 According to the Chief Election Commissioner. 1995 7 .13 The practice is generally opted by the politicians of the country to hire the ‘muscle power’ to improve their electoral prospects and criminals run for public office.15 In 1977. pg 732 14 21st Century India: View and Vision. The carrying of guns in the Bihar Assembly thus reflects the growing criminalization of politics in the state. the Bihar Assembly had 10 MLA’s who were 11 12 But no rule is Chapter III. With Ojha's growing voice against the status quo of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders had formed a coalition demanding immediate removal of the DGP accusing him of violating the police code of conduct. The Representation of Peoples Act.11 followed in 21st century’s politics of India. The former Bihar Chief Minister Mr. These circumstances have led to conclude that India has entered into growing crisis of governability. 2.12 Thus without any valid reason he was replaced by another DGP but the support of people was with him and due to criminalization of politics only the true candidate is not able to contest fair election in each and every state of the 180 out of 425 members of UP legislative Assembly had criminal records and the last general elections in Bihar were contested by 243 candidates against whom charges were pending. CASES TO ILLUSTRATE THE NEED Criminalization of Politics in Bihar is one of the main examples to showcase this evil practice. B. A. Dr.L Fadia. once made a statement in Bihar Assembly that some members came to House with arms and that very soon there would be firing in the House if the tendency was not curbed. “the Vohra Report-Sparing the Culprits” Indian Express. Not only in The Constitution but in The Representations of peoples Act the rules are provided. It suggests every procedure involved in the electoral process which includes from the conduct of polls. in this case Former Bihar DGP D. P.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 due the increase in Criminalization in the politics of the country the Constitutional Articles are loosing their importance.1. to disqualification of members on certain grounds. He was fired from his post by the Rabri government in December last year on 5th December. 1951 Retrieved from http://www. Thakur and Sunil Pandey. pg 172 15 Kuldeep Nayar. the machinery involved for free and fair elections. August 7.P.indian-elections. Ojha was contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Begusarai constituency in Bihar in the 14th Lok Sabha Elections on the "Clean Up Bihar" platform. Satiya Bhawan Agra 2012. Global Vision Publication House New Delhi 2009. Laloo Yadav.html on 21st October 2012 at 2 :00 pm 13 Indian Government and Politics.

Elections are won and lost on swings of just 1% of the vote. Those who do not know why they ought to vote comprise the majority of voters of this country.19 3. VOTE BANK A politician’s link with them constituency provides a congenial climate to political crime. 132 were suspected criminals.” which India must follow as at that time nearly 700 members of State Assemblies out of 4072 had criminal cases against them.16 According to G.V. 1998 18 The Politics of Corruption The Goodness that failed.34 The Hindustan Times. Shashi B Sahai. but on the other hand support them fully.G Krishnamurty it was an international acceptance norm that “Law breakers cannot be allowed to be lawmakers. so parties virtuously insist that these chaps must be regarded as innocent till proved guilty.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 history-sheeters by 1990 the number increased to 40.20 16 17 India Today. purchasable.1. including those headed by accused robbers and murderers. Deep and Deep Publications 2005 New Delhi. No part of the country is remained untouched as criminalization is spreading like anything in the whole country. MM Sankhdhar & Gurdeep Kaur.1. Most of them are individually timid and collectively coward they are suppressed by the politicians om 22nd oct 2012at 8:00pm 8 .18 Riots and violence are the main weapons of the criminals this practice is originated since 1967 which has bought the political scene of the country in the worst condition as these criminals only become the members of the parliament and the assemblies of the legislature. of 424 members of Vidhan Sabha. 1997 to include defector and criminal who supported him. Kalyan Singh the CM of UP expanded his ministry in October . June 27. so parties cynically woo every possible vote bank.1997. REASONS FOR THIS CRIMINALIZATION 3.17 The National and the Regional parties show detestation towards criminalization. November 10. 16 actually sat in the cabinet meetings presided by Kalyan. p. pg 20 Retrieved from http://www. Therefore majority of the voters are maneuverable.Gyan Publishing House New Delhi 1995. Legal delays ensure that the accused will die of old age before being convicted. Pg 127 19 Politics in India. the criminals help to conduct election in an undemocratic manner.

For the past several general elections there has existed a gulf between the Election Commission and the voter which needs to be reduced but here is no scope of that in near future. we find that we have reached this stage because the corrupting of the institutions in turn has finally led to the institutionalization of corruption. This is an incremental process. When there is contempt for the law and this is combined with the criminalization of politics. LOOP HOLES IN THE FUNCTIONING OF ELECTION COMMISSION The Election Commission must take adequate measures to break the nexus between the criminals and the politicians. Common people hardly come to know the rules made by the commission. but in the future national interest should guide them in making intelligent choices to have a better future of the country.2. CORRUPTION This practice is very common in the Indian politics as in every election all parties without exception put up candidates with a criminal background. The first stage was the corrupting of the institutions and the second stage was the institutionalization of corruption.2012 9 . Bridging this gap is essential not only for rooting out undesirable elements from politics but also for the survival of our democratic polity. The forms prescribed by the Election Commission for candidates disclosing their convictions. The failure to deal with corruption has bred contempt for the law. The electorate have made certain wrong choices in the past. the rate of success of which is directly proportional to the increase in literacy rate in India. 21 Surya Prakash at Politicians on Politicians on 26th oct.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 3. cases pending in courts and so on in their nomination papers is a step in the right direction if it applied properly. The greatest power that democracy arms is the people to vote incompetent people out of power. Independence has taken place through a two-stage process. corruption flourishes. India is ranked 66 out of 85 in the Corruption Perception Index 1998 by the German non-government organization Transparency International based in Berlin. but not prohibit them from casting their votes.3.21 3. They would only inform people of the candidate’s history and qualifications. As we look at the corruption scene today.

only people who have been convicted at least on two counts be debarred from becoming candidates. There is very little faith in India in the efficacy of the democratic process in actually delivering good governance. The government of India should make and imply such commission through which this practice should come to a complete end. This extends to accepting criminalization of politics as a fact of life. DENIAL OF JUSTICE AND RULE OF LAW Criminalization is a fact of Indian electoral politics today. many of whom are habitual offenders or history-sheeters. This leaves the field open for charge sheeted criminals. Toothless laws against convicted criminals standing for elections further encourage this process. Thus there should be a stop to one of the biggest loopholes of the Indian Politics that is Criminalization. It is mystifying indeed why a person should be convicted on two counts to be disqualified from fighting elections. Though it would take time but initial stage of the reformation should be started. The real problem lies in the definitions. because if it progresses like the way it is doing now then the democracy of the country will be at stake. 10 . political parties and the law and order machinery of the state are all equally responsible for this. The voters.4. Under current law.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 3.

Movements such as those led by Anna Hazare regarding the Jan Lok Pal bill all end up at the parliaments’ stable and are stagnated there. Today.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 CHAPTER III CORRUPTION AND POLITICAL NEXUS IN INDIA 1. SCAMS IN INDIA 2. which tried to portray the true state of affairs of India the rough its effective ads and one liners that have captured the attention of the people of India. INTRODUCTION India as a whole today has been actively involved in purging out corruption but with little avail.1. But it is ironic that all the politicians have a track record or a police record and despite all this hey have been allowed to stand for elections. COMMONWEALTH SCAM The scams that have been happening in India have triggered a wave of dissidence of and waves of hostility and disappointment from the people of India. The Constitution of India lays down that to qualify as a member of Parliament the person has to be an Indian citizen and not disqualified by any act of parliament. The most recent scam has been the Commonwealth Games scam that took place in October. India. It is sad to see the common middle class and poor people getting hurt just because the person who has done this to them is a politician and is thus not liable for his acts. The only efforts to awaken the country to the state of affairs of the government has been by Jagore. The organizer was Mr. The 11 . 2010. We have people who have been indicted for murder and other heinous crimes being allowed to stand for elections. 2. Suresh Kalmadi who organized the extravaganza which cost up to USD 6 billion. the political parties have become so corrupt and open about their corruption thing at the people are unable to do anything about it. The police is usually hand-in-glove with the politicians and the parliamentary privileges that the Members of Parliaments are entitled too also help save them from getting put behind bars and in all absolves them from any liability for their actions.

and inflating bills for equipment such as treadmills and toilet paper rolls. Several bodies. as secretary of the party's parliamentary wing.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 anti-corruption watchdog has identified more than 16 projects with possible irregularities. are probing the allegations.22 2.The ruling Congress party sacked Suresh Kalmadi. 24.1.7 million of misplaced funds. Andimuthu Raja sold the radio spectrum licenses at the market prices of 2001 to different players in the field such as Reliance. Three of his close aides have been arrested and local media has said Kalmadi too could be arrested. The worst part is that he was elevated to the rank of a minister despite having separate corruption charges against him. who did not even have sufficient capital and others who had less experience in the field and genuine players such as Vodaphone and others were denied the opportunity. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India's (CAG) also said rules were flouted when the licences were given out. Currently the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating allegations of corruption in the ministry and the government has said it is willing to have the Supreme Court monitor the probe. The DMK RajyaSabha MP and party chief M Karunanidhi's daughter was arrested and then sent to Tihar Jail.2. including the anti-corruption watchdog. chairman of the organising committee. the state auditor. Swan telecoms (now owned by UAE’s Etisalat) and Unitech. THE 2-G SCAM Another scam that hit the nation was the Telecom Scam of 2007-08 where the Telecoms minister of that time Mr. part of a probe into USD 21. It was aRs. the CBI and a special committee set up by Prime Minister Singh. including the purchase of equipment and issuing contracts also the allegations include manipulations of tenders in the building of stadiums and other games infrastructure. His homes and offices were raided by the CBI on Dec. He was dogged by several cases of alleged corruption. 2012. 22 Nirma Bansal at Hype about Politics on 5th Oct. The CBI has also raided the homes and offices of the Games organizers.76-lakh crore scam. The opposition asked for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to sit to investigate the charges but unfortunately the government haggled over the said question for a long time and cost the nation even more money. 12 .

including environmental and land-use rules.supersystems. ADARSH HOUSING SCAM Congress party politicians. It is only the most evident and direct manifestation of the character of India’s socialpolitical order—of the domination of the cash-nexus and the complete subordination of 23 24 Munish Jindal at Money Matters on on 5th Oct.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 Another interesting aspect of the whole investigation included the questioning of top lobbyist Nira Radia. 2012 25 Compiled by C. The Arabian Sea-facing block with 103 apartments in an upscale Mumbai district. that is among the world's most expensive pieces of real estate. as part of an investigation into whether money laundering and forex laws were broken when the licenses were purchased. the government has effectively taken back permits allowing owners to occupy the apartments.reuters. is also being investigated for several violation of each.2012 13 . The PM also had to face the heat as the SC questioned him on giving Raja anministerial berth despite allegations against him. The CBI has begun investigating the case.25 In our daily life. bureaucrats and military officials have been accused of taking over land meant to build apartments for war widows. most of us must have been a witness to or a victim of the corruption thriving in some or the other part of the country. After the story broke in local media the government sacked the powerful chief minister of western Maharashtra state. Since the scandal broke. It could be in the form of a taxi-driver manipulating the meter to jack-up the reading or a government officer taking bribery to promptly transfer your file to the next department or even yourself offering bribe to a traffic police on breaking a signal.8 million each. who represents companies like Tata and Reliance Industries.23Former Telecoms Minister Andimuthu Raja was sacked from minister post and after courts direction sent to Tihar jail. who is a member of the Congress party.htm on 5th Oct. leading to the disconnection of water and power supply. while local media estimated their value at USD on 5th Nov. 2012 Abhilash Verma at Supersystems in Politics at http://www. Kuncheria in Political Dealings at http://in.3.24 2. Apartments were sold for as little as USD 130.J.

On June 28. With clients abandoning it. Abdul KarimTelgi had mastered the art of forgery in printing duplicate stamp papers and sold them to banks and other institutions. The tentacles of the fake stamp and stamp paper case had penetrated 12 states and was estimated at a whooping Rs. Forty-two of Telgi's accomplices were also sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment. earning around Rs 200 crore a month.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 government at all levels to the dictates of big business.5. the company was taken over by the 26 27 28 Risha Kumar at World Politics on 5th Oct. 27 India is the 87th in Transparency International's rankings based on perceived levels of corruption. The company’s disgraced former chairman RamalingaRaju kept everyone in the dark for a decade by fudging the books of accounts for several years and inflating revenues and profit figures of Satyam. insurance companies and stock market players. 29 14 . TELGI SCAM It took place in the year 1991. 2012. SATYAM SCAM The Satyam Computer Scam is the biggest fraud in the corporate history to the tune of Rs. Finally.htmlon 5th Manish Hosina at Economics of Politics on 5th Oct. The Telgi scandal had political implications.29 2. foreign investors. The Telgi clearly had a lot of support from government departments that were responsible for the production and sale of high security stamps. Counterfeiter printed fake stamp paper and appointed 300 agents to sell them in bulk to banks. three-quarters of the population survive on less than $2 US per day. 55. and 200 children under the age of five die every hour. 14000 shares were hammered down to near-penny-stock levels. 20000 crore plus. 2007. Mr.000 crore and covered 12 states.28 estimated at USD 1 billion. was India's largest corporate scandal and was dubbed "India's Enron". 2012 By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones on 26 April 2011 Binoy Chowdhary at http://ibnlive. a narco test allegedly revealed the involvement of Maharashtra political leaders like SharadPawar and ChhaganBhujbal. The fraud. 26While India now boasts the world’s fourth largest number of billionaires.4. The swindle exceeded Rs 43. 2012 Oct. Telgi was awarded 13 years of rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 202 crore.

It was one of the biggest IT fraud committed in our nation. 15 .RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 Tech Mahindra which has done wonderfully well to revive the brand Satyam.

a huge sum then -was paid as bribes to people close to then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to swing the deal.30Bofors gun deal 1996 India's purchase of artillery guns from Swedish firm Bofors in 1986 was rocked by allegations that Rs 64 crore (USD 14. The Bofors scam was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s. with officials for years unwilling to take decisions on purchases that could later be probed for corruption. medicine and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured. whereby $16 million were allegedly paid to members of PM Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress. led to a split in the ruling Congress party and the defeat of Gandhi in federal elections in 1989. In this corruption scandal worth Rs. The Swedish State Radio had broadcast a startling report about an undercover operation carried out by Bofors.html on 8th Oct. Bihar ministers and officials colluded to bill the state treasury over Rs 950 crore to provide feed. who were later acquitted by a court of any involvement.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 2.6. Amongst the people probed were the London-based Indian business family of the Hindujas.7.htm on 7th Oct.31 2.900 million) -. The case has dragged on for years without any result.2012 31 Abhilash Verma at Supersystems in Politics at http://www. Most of all.1996 as it is popularly known in the vernacular language. were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer. an unholy nexus was traced involved in fabrication of “vast herds of fictitious livestock” for which fodder. The scandal caused an uproar in parliament. Its fallout has stymied India's defense expansion. when the then PM Rajiv Gandhi and several others including a powerful NRI family named the Hindujas. BOFORS SCAM The Bofors scandal is known as the hallmark of Indian corruption. 2012. the Bofors scam had a strong emotional appeal because it was a scam related to the defense services and India’s security interests. 16 . Sweden’s biggest arms manufacturer. Over two decades. THE FODDER SCAM The fodder scam by the Lalu Prasad government. also known as the “Chara Ghotala scam”. medicines and animal husbandry equipment 30 Binoy Chowdhary at http://ibnlive.supersystems.

The Congress party and all of those named in the cable deny the allegations. SCAMS IN THE JUDICIARY In July 2008. It said that it wasn't simply the daily diet of petty bribes that hold back the economy. rail tickets.32 2.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 for "vast herds of fictitious livestock". The vote was over a controversial deal between India and the US which paved the way for India to massively expand its nuclear power capability. Tens of millions of rupees were siphoned off from the provident funds of employees by the treasury officer who illegally spent the money on furniture. Opposition parties at the time accused the government of offering cash for votes.9. an investigation found 36 judges were guilty of receiving gifts bought with money embezzled from the court treasury in Ghaziabad. 2012. The government's left-wing allies withdrew support.33 2. CASH FOR VOTES SCAM There was uproar in India's parliament on 17 March 2011 after a leaked cable from the whistle-blowing Wikileaks website described how a senior Congress aide showed a US embassy official "chests of cash" allegedly used to bribe MPs to support the government in a crucial vote of confidence in 2008. 33 49777120100630 on 5th Oct.supersystems. taxi fares and other items for the judges. 2.htmon 5th Prakash Minoy at Politics of Legislative Bodies http://in. a satellite town on the outskirts of the capital. MONEY LAUNDERING In November 2009. was arrested in connection with a corruption investigation. but Congress narrowly survived the vote. the former chief minister of the eastern state of Jharkhand.reuters. Koda is accused of possessing assets disproportionate with his income and for alleged money laundering. mobiles. Madhu Koda.10. The leak came just days after a new report by consultancy KPMG said that corruption threatened India's growth. but the huge scams where billions of dollars are allegedly siphoned off by government and industry. 32 Abhilash Verma at Supersystems in Politics at Oct. The swindle allegedly involved chief ministers Jagannath Mishra and Lalu Prasad Yadav. with the latter being sent to jail. He is alleged to have laundered millions of rupees from public coffers during his stint as chief minister of Jharkhand between 2006 and 2008.8. 2012 at 6:45 PM 17 . crockery.

two people .htmlon 5th Amar Singh. 72 of whom have been charged of serious crimes including murder. The number of MPs with criminal antecedents was representative of all parties – a democratic thing ironically – and proportionate to the number of seats of that party. etc. several committees have been established to look into the matter and to suggest remedies to deal with the same as have been elaborated in the next chapter. 150 MPs out of the 541 elected MPs in the 2009 general elections have criminal records. issued an order under Article 324 that each candidate must submit an affidavit regarding the information of his/her criminal antecedents and assets (both movable and immovable) of self and those of spouses and dependents as well. In 2003. at BBC at http://www. a law was introduced to prohibit the election of criminals to the legislative bodies.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 In July 5th Oct. 18 .34 3. SUGGESTIONS TO CURB THE ISSUE In June 2002. He denies the alleging that the EC and the apex court. was also questioned after he was accused of offering to bribe opposition MPs to abstain from the vote. 34 35 Walter B. According to an estimate. were ‘overstepping’ their powers. criminals roam free in parliament and in the state assemblies and the glossing over their criminal backgrounds create a bigger irony by making law-makers of law-breakers. the Election Commission on the direction of the Supreme Court. Now thanks to organisations such as the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) working in the field of electoral reforms for the past few The Supreme Court criticized the police for carrying out a "shoddy probe".a politician's aide and a political activist – were arrested in connection with the scandal. 2012 Reena Ahmed at Deccan Herald at http://www. Still. 2012. But political parties cried wolf. rape.deccanherald. A senior MP. 35 To discuss the ways and means to curb this ever growing menace of criminalization of politics. the issue ofelectoral malpractice and the criminalisation of politics have been propped up as topics of national debate.

crafty corruption. bribing.36 While the massive size of the electorate makes holding elections a daunting task. and the abuse of religion and caste in the mobilization of voters. intimidation. Thus. December 2010. 36 Background Paper on electoral reforms . ethical and socio-political. 19 .RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 CHAPTER IV REMEDIES TO PREVENT THE CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICS 1. INTRODUCTION India’s democratic system is in essence disillusionment. allurement and murder have become an integral part of Indian elections. The only goal we have observed in this paradoxical system is this unquenchable thirst for political power. tampered electoral rolls. boot capturing. Free and fair elections are essentially hallmarks of an efficient and functional democracy. large-scale rigging of elections and other polling irregularities.fair or foul. the proliferation of non-serious candidates. the most alarming among them is the significant number of elected representatives with criminal charges pending against them. intimidation of voters. Criminalisation of politics has many forms. rigging. The criminalisation of our political system has been observed almost unanimously by all recent committees on politics and electoral reform. involves the presence of issues such as booth capturing. India is no longer a model for the emerging democracies across the world. Our election system is in a dire need for strategic and systematic improvements.are found throughout the country.the power of the state or at least to be in the vicinity of that power by any means. Ministry of Law and Justice (GoI) and the Election Commission of India. Threats. consequent upon practicing the democratic system. deception and degradation of values.moral.

1951. 20 . (Hereinafter referred as the R. the Supreme Court recommended the appointment of a high level committee to ensure in-depth investigation into the findings of the N N Vohra Committee and to secure prosecution of those involved. Act. 2. With such a poison spreading through the State system the country. Nothing drives the public to act in a certain way better than the infusion of some fear. They were connected to the military. State Assemblies and Parliament. the organized crime scene has persisted and the legal systems have been unable to tackle it. Over the years criminals had been elected to local bodies. It also discussed criminal gangs who enjoyed the patronage of politicians. in which the candidate has been accused of any offence punishable with imprisonment for two years or more in a pending case in which charges have been framed by the court. and the protection of government functionaries. and (ii) cases for conviction for an offence other than any of the offences mentioned in Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act. of all parties.P. The report discussed that money power is in essence utilized money power to develop a network of muscle-power which is used by politicians during elections. CANDIDATURE AND CRIMINALIZATION – THE LAWS AT PRESENT Currently. The Vohra Committee ended on a poignant not. It is a well-observed fact that the judicial system is constituted to deal with individual offences and crimes. 1951) and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more. Rule 4A of the Conduct of Election Rules. Regarding (i) cases. In 1997. Ministry of Home Affairs. October 1993. Mafia syndicates in India have established a nexus with governmental functionaries and political leaders and have thus been able to operate with impunity. It revealed that political leaders had become the leaders of gangs. 37 Vohra Report on Criminalization of Politics. Muscle-power or any other form of intimidation dictates the behavior of the masses. reiterating the fact that there was a vital need to set up a nodal point for all intelligence and enforcement agencies to tackle the problem of criminalization of politics. 1961. organized crime has permeated through levels of the government with ease. This scenario exists in India as well. This report contained several observations made by official agencies on the criminal network which was virtually running a parallel government.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 The Vohra Committee37 on “Criminalisation of Politics” was constituted towards the objective of identifying the extent of the political-criminal nexus and recommend ways in which the menace can be effectively dealt with. if any. Even in other countries. prescribes that each candidate must file an affidavit.

in its report “Ethics in Governance”. 1961 to minimum two years imprisonment and removing the alternative punishment of assessing a fine upon the candidate. recommended in detail that: “Special Election Tribunals should be constituted at the regional level under article 329B of the Constitution to ensure speedy disposal of election petitions and disputes within a stipulated period of six months. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission. RECOMMENDATIONS In its report on Proposed Election Reforms. pursuant to the order of the Supreme Court. It also recommended that Form 26 be amended to include all items from the additional affidavit prescribed by the Election Commission. Act. add a column requiring candidates to disclose their annual declared income for tax purpose as well as their profession. by inserting a new section 4A after section 4 to make declaration of assets and criminal cases pending against the candidate part of the qualifications necessary for membership to the House of the People. Act. 2004 39 National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.P. 1951 prescribes penalties for withholding or providing incorrect information on Form 26. has issued an order that candidates must file an additional affidavit stating Section 125A of the R. 1951. The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution39 recommended that special election benches designated for election petitions only should be formed in the High Court. Each tribunal should comprise a High Court judge and a senior civil servant with at least 5 years experience in the conduct of elections. which amount to imprisonment of up to six months. In its report entitled Proposed Electoral Reforms. the Election Commission of India recommended that an amendment should be made to Section 125A of the R.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 In addition to this.P. 1951 to provide for more stringent punishment for concealing or providing wrong information on Form 26 of Conduct of Election Rules.” 3. or fine. Ministry of Law and Justice and Company Affairs.” 38 “Proposed Electoral Reforms”. Act. or both. Election Commission of India. the candidates leave some of the columns blank…there have been cases where candidates are alleged to have given grossly undervalued information. 21 . March 2002. The Election Commission has also made a similar recommendation.P. Essentially an amendment must be made to the R. 2003. 2004. 200438 the Election Commission of India notes that “in some cases. the Election Commission on March 27.

render the current election to be null and void and re-election would consequently be taken up. However mere disqualification for a period of time cannot under any circumstance be the final cure. BETTER MANAGEMENT AND CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS 22 . There is no system in place and further compounds the delay as voter decline to be a part of the electoral process and the same candidates are re-elected from the constituencies again and again. There is an inherent need to supersede the existing judicial hierarchy and establish fast-track based judicial system vide special courts to accomplish this purpose. or apply for the post vide public elections.8 (1) and otherwise. dacoity. if sufficient. may result in their being no desirable candidates within those contesting for elections in a particular constituency. Act must be expanded in its scope. etc. The Law Commission of India as well as the Election Commission of India have time and again reiterated the institution of the neutral or negative voting system.1 NEGATIVE AND NEUTRAL VOTING The criminalisation of politics. 3. 3. it is only by example that decriminalisation of politics can take place.P.2. rape. lists certain crimes and stipulates a disqualification period of 6 years from the date of conviction. With the institution of such a system there could be a democratic safeguard and the proportional share of negative or neutral votes polled could. This system entails that the voter has the choice to reject the candidates on the ballot by the selection of “none of the above”. In order to set aside the political red-tapism and other lacunae. An important submission of many committees on this matter state that any person convicted for heinous crimes such as murder. This entails a quick-fire trial within a period of six-months from the framing of charges so as to determine whether a candidate is qualified to hold office or not. Candidates violating this provision should be disqualified and political parties putting up such candidates with knowledge of their antecedents should be derecognized and deregistered. In order to deter politicians with a criminal background and that too with regards to committing heinous crimes. the R. he should be disqualified for a period of six years. smuggling etc. In case a candidate has charges framed against him with regards to offences listed in S. voter intimidation.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 Section 8 (1) Of the R. should be permanently disbarred from contesting political office. Act. widespread corruption in the system.P. and use of violence.

In practice. In order to combat the threat of physical intimidation of voters or of those involved in the electoral process. Act. The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution had suggested in 2001. the ECI must be given the power to void the elections and call for a fresh one to be held. even the full term of the house expires thus rendering the election petition in fructuous. cases involving election petitions are rarely resolved in a timely manner. U. Inherently it follows the same principles as the “Aadhar” or the Unique Identification Cards (UID’s). “such petitions remain pending for years and in the meanwhile. the creation of an online database maintained by the ECI.S. and Australia collectively.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 According to the ECI. 23 . Rigging of elections have become a common facet in the Indian political environment.P. It involves each voter possessing their own unique barcode which can be verified at any polling booth by a simple hand-held device. however. The electoral process begins with the preparation of electoral rolls. In quantitative terms such a number is equal to holding elections for Europe.3 ADJUDICATION OF ELECTION DISPUTES Disputes relating to elections of the State Legislature and Union Legislature are adjudicated upon exclusively by the High Court(s) before whom election petitions under Section 80 and 80-A of the Representation of Peoples Act. or large-scale deletions off “unfriendly-voters”. are filed. 3.A. December 2010. Sections 86(6) and (7) of the R. provide that the High Court shall make an endeavor to dispose of an election petition within six months from its presentation and also as far as practically possible conduct proceedings of an election petition on a day to day basis. According to the report “Ethics in Governance” of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission. Canada. Ministry of Law and Justice (GoI) and the Election Commission of India. 1951. However this suggestion is riddled with problems in the face of muscle power and intimidation. The Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms stated that irregularities in electoral rolls are exacerbated by purposeful tampering done by election officials who are bought by vested interests or have partisan attitudes. the size of the electorate for the 2009 elections to the 15th Lok Sabha was more than 714 million40. Political parties and influential persons manage large-scale registration of bogus voters. 40 Background Paper on electoral reforms .

Although this organization is not effectively powerless it has been unable to function as a cohesive unit. These alterations are ample and venerable. and bureaucrats as inferred in the Vohra Committee report as well. What we must observe is that criminalization of politics is a deep-seated problem and has permeated the very core of how Indian politics functions. The accomplishment of the modification would depend upon the operational compliance of the coordination of electoral machinery. resources 24 . ELECTORAL REFORMS The Supreme Court in a judgment in 1997 while hearing Dinesh Trivedi (MP) and Ors. the Election Commission has handled a number of issues and accomplished commendable electoral reforms to fortify democracy and augment the even-handedness of elections. the political parties. Over the years. the devastating impact of criminals in the diaspora of politics. v. Reform is a continuous process. The citizens themselves should be empowered by Law and shall act upon the undue intimidation by the “thug-culture” per se. Mere institutional implementations have never succeeded in the elimination of any evil. 4.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 3. The creation of one nodal agency cannot strive to eradicate it. Reforming the political process is only the part of the process. The Legislature in itself must create a system so as to root out the evil from within. Positive political power needs to be exercised so as to imbibe within the voting gamut of the population. the candidates and electorate at all levels. The Election Commission though instrumental still lacks the “death-blow” style to it inherent powers. politicians. The government machinery must be restructured and reorganized so as to weed out the criminals from the system. Union of India observed with alarm. Undeniably. It asked the President of India to set up a high level committee in consultation of the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha in order to eliminate the criminal nexus between criminals. the election machinery. CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS Criminalization of politics needs a multi-pronged approach in order to be tackled. the power to influence events. Effective controls must be vested into the Election Commissions hands by the Legislature. justifies its credibility for organising elections in a free and fair method. under the sponsorship of the EC.4.

The Election Commission has remained as a passive spectator through all this.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 and human behavior to promote overall public good. many promising individuals lost in the quagmire of Indian Politics and hence this discourages the inclusion of promising individuals in the field of politics. Reforms have assisted in cleansing the system to a highly limited extent. Change. The implementation of the active participation of people.e. not vice versa. The prime thrust of running a democracy lies upon its citizens and not any other entity. Electoral reforms. with effective over-riding powers with regards to the conduct of free and fair elections and other allied affairs is the need of the hour. effective legislation is the only key. With large portions of the present electorate being illiterate. Elections are in essence mere “gutter-fights”. In India. 25 . radical and extreme change is the need of the hour. which has been always identified as an power-less institution. the system has able men within it only then can the structure improve. it is indeed a challenging task imbibing a sense of political forethought in them. Exemplary punishments with the exception of the death sentences. Arming the Election Commission of India (ECI). It is understandable for the citizens of this nation to feel disillusioned and helpless. commencing at the grassroots-level is the need of the hour. Politics is a shady business and continues to be. whether or not backed by a big political party. i. the quintessential example of the traditional and cruel game of “fight-to-death”. Elections for a sizable part of the voters seems to be a meaningless farce. allowing very little scope for reform. however the scenario stays largely unchanged. As the proverb goes “fight fire with fire”. citizens can only face grave injustice and criminal elements of their representatives to an extent. this positive power is severely restricted because of the way we designed our governance structure. Once. Legislation and the Judiciary can only play a limited role in the process. Harsh punishments have been a common deterrent for crime and have been effectively utilized in a majority of countries. Due to the feudalistic nature of the political parties. The present electoral systems favour entrenched parties and individuals. The rest lies in the hands of the inclusion of a comprehensive system of individuals backed by voters who realize the true worth of their vote. However.

ece 4.mightylaws.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS 1. www. A. Deep and Deep Publications 2005 New Delhi.html 26 . Indian Government and 5. 1951 INTERNET SOURCES 1. ibnlive. The Politics of Corruption The Goodness that 8. www. www. www.html 10.pdf. The Representation of Peoples Act. 9. pg 172 3. 21st Century India: View and Vision.htm 11. www. Pg 127 4. 3. ShaShi B 2. Article 105. pg 152 5. Global Vision Publication House New Delhi 2009.supersystems.thehindu.Gyan Publishing House New Delhi 1995. pg 732 2. Dr. www. Thakur and Sunil Pandey. B. www. The Constitution of India 6. MM Sankhdhar & Gurdeep 6.P. Chapter 7.halfmantr. Satiya Bhawan Agra 2012.shtml ibnlive.moneycontrol. Politics in India.legalserviceindia. Ministry of Law and Justice and Company Affairs. ibnlive. Background paper on electoral reforms page 4 8. Page 2 7. Background Paper on electoral reforms .deccanherald. 3. Election Commission of India.html 16.RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LAW || GROUP 4 14. www. Background Paper on electoral reforms . December ARTICLES AND REPORTS Ministry of Law and Justice (GoI) and the Election Commission of 18.htm 15. November 10. March 2002 www. Kuldeep Nayar.1997.htm 20. “Proposed Electoral Reforms”.supersystems. December 2010. Ministry of Home Affairs.htm Vohra Committee Report 9. National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.34 11. Background Paper On Electoral Reforms. www. The Hindustan Times. “the Vohra Report-Sparing the Culprits” Indian Express. June 27. 1995 2004 4.supersystems. www.html 2. India www. p. Ministry of Law and Justice (GoI) and the Election Commission of India. August 7. 1998 27 . October 1993. Vohra Report on Criminalization of Politics.

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