Governance

To fast-track cases against politicians and eliminate criminals from politics

Broken

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, building upon BJP’s promise to initiate the process of eliminating criminals from electoral process, committed to Parliament in his maiden speech that his government would fast-track cases against the politicians. He further added that all such cases would be resolved in one year itself.

Three years since the commitment was made, the cases against sitting MPs and MLAs remain unresolved. The government had attempted to fast-track cases against politicians but the Supreme Court declined observing, “There is a demand by you (government) that criminal trials involving MPs should be fast-tracked. Institutionalised fast-track courts are no longer in place… within the existing system, it may not be possible to fast-track all kinds of cases”.

However, the government was asked by the Court to prepare detailed blue print to improve the pace of resolution of cases. It is worth noting down that the Supreme Court declined to fast-track court cases against politicians citing limitations under the current framework. The government was free to institute more courts, pass legislations in this regard or adopt any mechanism that leads to quicker resolution of cases.

No steps have been taken thus far by Modi Government to eliminate criminals from electoral exercise. On the contrary, 31% of BJP Government Ministers have criminal cases against them. 18% face serious criminal charges such as attempt to murder, murder, rape, kidnapping and crime against women.

Since no action has been initiated by BJP government in this regard despite the timeline of 1 year prescribed by the Prime Minister, the performance of the government against this promise has been classified as “Broken”

P.S.: Initially the status of the promise was classified as “Yet To Start” since we missed out on the fact that the Prime Minister prescribed a timeline for the fulfillment of this promise. In the absence of timeline, the promise would have remained in “Yet to Start” category since a democratically elected government deserves the full tenure to fulfill its promises. However, a very informed reader drew our attention to this lapse of ours. In the light of fact of timeline pointed out to us, we are classifying it as “Broken” so long the promise is fulfilled post which it will be classified as “Fulfilled”. This is in alignment to our guidelines used for categorisation which can be read here.

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2 Comments

  1. Jayant Aggarwal

    This is without a doubt one of the most contentious issue in our democracy.On one hand We have the argument that people with Criminal charges against them should be disallowed from Electoral process. On the other hand,there can be false cases which will stall any kind of positive developments in our elections and will start a dangerous trend of cases and countercases where noone but the common man will suffer.
    I believe We should have some reforms in the election process.
    1. Club all the State and Union elections.
    2.Make it mandatory for Political Parties to declare their candidate list 6 months prior to Elections,where if someone who is accused of any crime will be judged by a fast track court.(accused and accuser not allowed to leave country or to be absent on false premises)
    3.Court will decide their candidature based on the merit of evidence.
    If somehow it stretches,person should be allowed to contest but can’t swear in before clear verdict.
    If someone is guilty,he will be barred and fresh elections for that constituency.

    Reply
  2. Anurag Kundu

    Hey Jayant. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Indeed, principally we are all in agreement that those accused of committing serious crime must be kept away from the governance of this nation and special mechanisms need to be put in place for fast-tracking cases against the politicians. However, this isn’t a simple task of simply fast-tracking but requires strengthening institutions like Courts. However, with nearly 10% vacancy in Supreme Court, 41% vacancy in High Courts and 20% vacancy in District Courts, it is clear that strengthening judiciary isn’t this government’s priority.

    Having said this, one also needs to understand the context where the charges are slapped on anyone including politicians without rationale or evidence. Therefore, this factor also needs to be considered and every step needs to be taken to keep potential criminals out of politics.

    Hopefully, we will have clean politics one day 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts once again.

    Note: We are removing this comment feature since the comments now have been linked to Facebook. Therefore, you are requested to use the above comments feature since old comments (including yours and my response) would be deleted in 3 days.

    Reply

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