Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have called for quicker trial and conclusion of cases against Parliamentarians facing criminal charges. He has asked the law and home ministries to expedite all such cases in a year’s time.
A source said the law ministry and home ministry would work closely to create a mechanism to deal with such cases against politicians and look at ways to put them on the fast track. This could be done by various means, such as minimizing adjournments as well as curbing delay tactics by accused, who often exploit the country’s overburdened criminal justice system. Among measures the government can take are special courts and according priority to cases against politicians.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, a transparency think-tank, the current Lok Sabha has 186 members or 34% members facing a criminal charge.
More candidates facing criminal charges are being picked by India’s political parties at all levels of India’s elections, including state polls, data from over a 10-year-period by ADR shows, as at least two new studies have suggested stronger correlation between wealth, crime and winning ability. The ADR’s analysis also found a candidate without a criminal case had 23% chance of winning, compared to just a 12% winning chance of one without any charges.
In his election campaign, Modi had promised to adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy on graft. Modi had also said in his campaign his government would ask the Supreme Court to expedite cases against politicians for cleaner governance. Sources said the NDA government could also seek to build an all-party consensus on the issue.