As many as 134 sitting MPs/MLAs in India are accused in cases related to crimes against women, a recent report has revealed. According to the report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), out of 762 sitting MPs and 4001 sitting MLAs analysed, 134 sitting MPs/MLAs have declared cases related to crimes against women.
Among these 134 sitting MPs/MLAs with declared cases related to Crimes against women, 21 are sitting MPs and 113 are sitting MLAs, the report said. The cases include charges related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC Section-354); Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc. (IPC Section-366); rape (IPC Section-376); Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty (IPC Section-498A); Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc. (IPC Section-373) and word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman (IPC Section-509), added the ADR-NEW report.
The report based on the 4763 out of 4809 election affidavits of sitting MPs and MLAs, has analysed 762 out of 776 affidavits of sitting MPs and 4001 out of 4033 sitting MLAs from all the 28 states and 2 union territories of India in the last 5 years. It also includes an analysis of the affidavits submitted for bye-elections held during the 5 years’ period due to resignation, death or vacation of seat due to some other reason.
This data has been extracted from the affidavits (Form 26) submitted with the ECI and filed by the candidates i.e. MP and MLAs in the present report at the time elections were held in the years 2018 to 2023.
Party wise sitting MPs/MLAs with cases related to crimes against women:
The report has said that among various parties, BJP has the highest number of sitting MPs/ MLAs i.e., 44, followed by INC with 25 and AAP with 13 sitting MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related to crimes against women. Moreover, the BJP also has the highest number of sitting MPs/ MLAs i.e., 7, followed by INC with 6 sitting MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related to rape.
Among the states, West Bengal has the highest number of sitting MPs/ MLAs i.e., 26, followed by Maharashtra and Odisha each with 14 sitting MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women, the report said. According to the report, out of 134 sitting MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related to crimes against women, 18 sitting MPs/MLAs have declared cases related to rape (IPC Section-376).
Among these 18 sitting MPs/MLAs with declared cases related to Rape, 4 are sitting MPs and 14 are sitting MLAs, it added. The report has noted that major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crimes against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens.
The report recommended that candidates with a criminal background should be debarred from contesting elections. It also referred to the directions by the Supreme Court in February 2020, that political parties should declare reasons why candidates with criminal cases are given tickets to contest elections.