With the Union cabinet’s decision to withdraw the controversial ordinance that protected convicted public representatives, about two dozen politicians from the state who have serious criminal cases pending may get disqualified immediately if they are sentenced to prison for two years or more.
Significantly, two members of Parliament (MPs) who are facing criminal cases are from the Nationalist Congress Party, which is not happy with the decision of the Congress to withdraw the ordinance.
As per the 2009 election affidavits, 146 of the 288 MLAs (members of the legislative assembly), and 26 of the 48 MPs from the state face charges.
Of these, 22 have been booked for serious offences and will be dismissed if sentenced for two years or more.
The MLAs and MPs have cases of culpable homicide, murder, attempt to murder,extortion, kidnapping, rape, dacoity and financial frauds against them.
A comprehensive analysis by a non-government organisation working for electoral reforms, the National Elections Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms, shows that by 2009, the number of criminal cases against MLAs increased by 68% in the five years since the 2004 polls.
A prominent case pending since 2006 involves a sitting NCP MP, Dr Padamsinh Patil, who is accused of murdering his cousin and Congress leader Pavan Raje Nimbalkar.
Another pending case is related NCP’s Udayanraje Bhosale, who was accused and then acquitted of the murder of Satara city corporator Sharad alias Appa Leve in 1999.
A petition challenging the acquittal is pending in the high court.
MNS MLA Ram Kadam too faces charges related to voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons. Kadam and his assembly colleague Kshitij Thakur were arrested for assaulting a police officer in the Vidhan Sabha.
BJP’s former state president Sudhir Mungantiwar had 28 cases pending in 2009, of which some are of serious nature. Of the 25 cases pending against Shiv Sena’s Thane legislator Eknath Shinde, one is related to murder.
A year ago, NCP’s Dilip Wagh was charged for raping a girl. His personal secretary was also booked in the case. In 2011, BJP’s Shivaji Kardile was booked in murder and cheating cases.
The election affidavit of industry minister Narayan Rane says he faces four cases, albeit of not very serious nature.