As if their poor performance wasn't enough, more than 50% of the city's legislators have serious criminal cases recorded against them, says a study.
Data collected by the NGO Praja indicates that 17 of the 32 city legislators have been linked to serious crimes, which invite a punishment of two years or more.
The study has obtained information about those MLAs that have been named either in an FIR or a charge sheet. The data reveals that some legislators, though started clean, have committed or been named in serious crimes after getting elected.
While 15 MLAs had FIRs against them before the elections, 10 got named in FIRs, which linked them to serious crimes, after the elections.
Praja project director Milind Mhaske said some legislators had been named in more than one FIR, but the study had not counted it to avoid confusion. "It is entirely possible that some of these legislators have been involved in serious crimes more than once," said Mhaske.
Overall, the average score that legislators have got for not having a criminal record has suffered. From getting 0.19 marks on 5 in 2011, the score has gone into a -0.63.
Such negative marking, Praja said, indicates a higher level of serious crimes. "If they have no crimes then a legislator gets 5 marks, if there's a crime which isn't serious then they get 3. However, -5 indicates that the MLA has been named in an FIR or a charge sheet," explained Mhaske.
The MLAs with most number of crimes associated with them are Samajwadi Party's Abu Asim Azmi, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLAs Pravin Darekar and Shishir Shinde, who have been named the lowest.
On the brighter side, 15 MLAs have no serious crimes associated with their name. Congress's Amin Patel, Annie Shekhar, Ashok Jadhav, Baba Siddiqui, Baldev Khosa, Chandrakant Handore among others, were ranked the highest for having a clean criminal record.
Prabhat Kumar, former cabinet secretary, who was present at the report launch, said, "It is said you cannot expect good governance from bad politics. Hence, people need to make use of such information and elect good people."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Yogesh Sagar, who was ranked number 1 for the second consecutive year, said, "It's good to have been recognised by the study. I am trying to satisfy as many of my constituents as I can."