Legislators, unless convicted

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Published On: 05:21:07 AM

Jharkhand has possibly the highest proportion. Until 2009, cases were pending against at least 55 of 81 MLAs ' the National Election Watch analysed 76 of the 81 affidavits ' and at least 6 of 14 MPs, with 12 analysed.

The Supreme Court this month ruled that sitting MLAs and MPs will be disqualified on conviction. A look at some of the legislators whose fate could hinge on cases decided after that ruling.


MULAYAM SINGH YADAV. He is being probed by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case, filed by an advocate in the Supreme Court in 2005. The petitioner alleges that Mulayam, his sons Akhilesh (UP chief minister) and Prateek, and daughter-in-law Dimple have acquired properties worth over Rs 100 crore.

MAYAWATI. This year, the Supreme Court observed that the CBI is free to investigate a disproportionate assets case against the former UP chief minister. The court had earlier observed that the CBI had proceeded without properly understanding its orders, which were restricted to the Taj Corridor case relating to the release of Rs 17 crore by her government.

LALU PRASAD. The former Bihar CM faces five fodder scam cases from 1996. These are pending in courts in what is now Jharkhand. The verdict in one, the Chaibasa treasury case, by a Ranchi court was recently stayed by the Supreme Court.

B S YEDDYURAPPA. The former Karnataka chief minister, along with MLA B Sreeramulu, is accused of corruption in a CBI case on illegal mining in Bellary.

HEMANT SOREN. The Jharkhand chief minister faces cases for causing grievous hurt and attempt to murder. Sita Soren, Shibu Soren's daughter-in-law and MLA, faces charges of abducting and assaulting a former personal assistant.

MADHU KODA, former Jharkhand CM and now MP, faces four cases, relating to corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. Almost his entire cabinet who are currently legislators ' Harinarayan Rai, Enos Ekka, Nalin Soren and Bandhu Tirkey ' have corruption and money laundering cases pending.

AMARINDER SINGH, Congress MLA from Punjab. Charges have been framed in one case while another five FIRs have been registered against him. Two of the six cases are of defamation, one involving former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal (charges filed). Four cases involve alleged corruption.

Ministers SITTING & OUT

SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL, Punjab deputy chief minister. Charges have been framed for causing hurt and for snatching a camera in a 2006 case. The proceedings were stayed by the high court in 2008.

GOPAL GOYAL KANDA, Haryana MLA. Minister of state for home, Kanda lost his berth after being booked in an abetment-to-suicide case. Geetika Sharma, an airhostess with his airline, committed suicide holding Kanda responsible. Kanda is in jail, having failed to secure bail. Another Congress MLA from the state facing abetment-to-suicide charges is Ram Kishan Gujjar. A local journalist was allegedly harassed, leading to suicide.

SUKHBIR KATARIA, Haryana's minister of state for sports. He faces a case involving bogus voting in his constituency. Now on bail.

NARAYAN RANE. Maharashtra's industries minister faces four cases, including one of kidnapping. In 2002, when Rane was with the Shiv Sena, he allegedly abducted Congress MLA Padmakar Valvi and held him hostage at a club. The two are now on the same side, both ministers.

Qamarul Islam, Karnataka minister. He is accused in a case of criminal intimidation, causing disappearance of information and defiling a place of worship. Umashree, the lone woman minister in the state cabinet, has two criminal cases against her, with the charges relating to use of undue influence, impersonation and illegal payments in an election. Minister Dr Sharan Patil is accused of forgery. Five other Karnataka ministers have cases against them.

Taj Mohiuddin. Jammu & Kashmir's medical health education minister is facing procedings in the state Accountability Commission following a complaint of grabbing forest land. At least three other J&K ministers face cases. Manohar Lal Sharma is facing proceedings in the accountabilty commission, in a housing scam. Auqaf Pirzada is facing a corruption case in the high court, which is also trying Abdul Majid Wani in a Forest Act case.

Fake encounters

AMIT SHAH, Gujarat MLA. The former home minister was not given a ministerial berth in 2012 because he had been arrested in the Sohrabuddin Shiekh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases, though the BJP has now put him in charge of its Uttar Pradesh affairs. Two of the various charges against him relate to murder. He is also charged with kidnapping, wrongful confinement, kidnapping and extortion.

GULAB CHANDRA KATARIA, leader of the opposition in Rajasthan. The BJP MLA has been named by the CBI in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

RAJENDRA RATHORE, BJP MLA in Rajasthan. He is the prime accused in the fake encounter case involving liquor don Dara Singh.

Murders & attempts

MAHIPAL MADERNA. He was Rajasthan's water resources minister until he was arrested, along with fellow Congress legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, in connection with the murder of nurse Bhanwari Devi.

DANAM NAGENDER, Congress, Andhra Pradesh minister for labour and employment. He faces an attempt-to-murder case after he allegedly assaulted an advocate.

ADHIR CHOWDHURY, Congress MP from West Bengal. He faces three criminal cases. One of these relates to the 2005 twin murders of hoteliers Laltu Shaikh and Hanif Shaikh, for which he was in jail for a month and a half. Also accused in the 1996 murder of CPM leader Manab Saha.

ASHIMA PATRA, MLA from West Bengal. The case involves the death in custody of Kazi Nasiruddin on January 18. Nasiruddin's family has alleged it was at Patra's behest that police killed him. The Supreme Court last month upheld a high court order for a CBI probe into the murder.

PRABHUNATH SINGH, RJD MP from Bihar. A pending case against him, filed at Gardanibagh police station, includes charges under IPC section 302. He had declared this case in his 2009 election affidavit.

O P JAIN, former Haryana minister. He resigned along with chief parliamentary secretary Zile Ram Sharma after their names cropped up in the probe into the murder of Karnal sarpanch Karam Singh. The case is being investigated by the CBI. Singh was found murdered after he had lodged a complaint against Jain and Sharma for duping him and his relatives of Rs 12 lakh by falsely promising to provide government jobs to members of his family.

RAM KUMAR CHAUDHURY, Congress MLA, Himachal Pradesh. He was arrested shortly after his election victory. The murder victim was Jyoti, a Dalit woman, with whom Chaudhury is alleged to have been in a relationship. Her body was found in the run-up to the polls.

SHANKAR CHAUDHARY, BJP MLA from Gujarat. He faces three murder cases and three of attempt to murder.

PADAMSINH PATIL, NCP MP from Maharashtra. The doctor, 73, was arrested for the 2006 murder of Congress leader Pavan Raje Nimbalkar, a cousin. Patil had once served as Maharashtra home minister.

UDAYANRAJE BHOSALE, NCP MP from Maharashtra. He was accused and then acquitted of the murder of Satatra city corporator Sharad alias Appa Leve in 1999. A petition challenging the acquittal is pending in the Bombay High Court.

T V RAJESH, CPM MLA from Kerala. He has been chargesheeted in the case involving the murder of an IUML worker in 2012. He faces seven other cases.

C DIVAKARAN, CPI MLA from Kerala. Two of the four cases he faces relate to attempt to murder, and the other two to causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons.

SUDIP ROY BURMAN, leader of the opposition in Tripura. He faces one case that involves various IPC sections, including those for attempt to murder, causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons, and rioting.

OTHERS. Satish Chandra Dubey, BJP MLA from Bihar, faces murder and attempt-to-murder cases. So does Shivji Rai, JD(U). Other Bihar MLAs accused of attempts to murder, as per National Election Watch, include JD(U)'s Pradip Kumar and Narendra Pandey. In Chhattisgarh, BJP MLA Mahesh Gagda is accused of murder. So are Maharashtra MLAs Gilbert Mendonca and Vivek Pandit.

Out of the ambit

The Supreme Court ruling spares legislators already convicted and who have gone into appeal.

OM PRAKASH CHAUTALA. The former Haryana chief minister remains leader of the opposition. He and his MLA son Ajay, both sentenced to 10 years in jail, have appealed against the conviction in a teachers' recruitment scandal. The father is out on bail on health grounds.

BIBI JAGIR KAUR. The former Punjab minister was convicted by a CBI court last year for the illegal confinement, abduction and murder of her daughter in 2000. Sentenced to five years in jail, she has appealed against the conviction in the high court.

TOTA SINGH. The former Punjab minister was convicted by a Mohali court in 2012 and sentenced to a year in jail for misusing his official vehicle in 1997-2002. He has appealed in the high court.

NAVJOT SIDHU. The BJP MP from Aritsar was booked in 1988 in a case of road ragethat led to the death of Gurnam Singh of Patiala. Sidhu was booked for murder and acquitted in 1999, before the decision was challenged in the high court, which in 2006 convicted the former cricketer of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and sentenced him to three years in jail. He appealed for a stay on the conviction and a suspension of the sentence, which the Supreme Court granted in 2007.

SWANA LAKRA. The Congress MLA from Jharkhand was sentenced to life imprisonment this year for the murder of his granddaughter's boyfriend.

Babu Bokhiria. Gujarat's minister for agriculture and water supply was last month convicted and sentenced to three years in jail in a limestone theft case. Bokhiria has filed an appeal in a higher court.

The Jaya precedent

J Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu's chief minister, was among the first to lose their chair because of a conviction. In October 2000, she had been convicted by a special judge and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment in corruption cases. She appealed and the Madras High Court suspended the sentence. After the 2001 elections, Jaya was invited to take oath by the governor. She was not, however, a member of the house because her candidature had been rejected on account of her conviction a year earlier.

It took a five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court to quash her appointment as chief minister. The bench held that presumption of innocence ended with conviction, adding that a higher court can only suspend the execution of a sentence, not the sentence itself. That meant Jaya has been proven guilty, only the actual imprisonment would depend on the appeal.

Jaya eventually did take charge as chief minister in March 2002, after the high court acquitted her of the charges. However, a disproportionate assets case is still being heard at a special court in Bangalore.

Multiple cases

46 Kameshwar Baitha, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP. The number is based on the affidavit he filed for the 2009 elections; National Election Watch found he topped a countrywide list of 536 anlaysed. 17 of the 46 were cases relating to murder and 22 to attempt to murder.

28 Chhotu Vasava, JD(U) MLA from Gujarat. Charges have been framed in all 28 cases, 9 of which relate to dacoity, 7 to theft, 3 to murder, 2 to kidnapping, and 1 to dacoity with murder.

24 Pradip Maharathi, BJD MLA from Orissa. Cases involve rioting, theft, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and dacoity.

16 Vitthal Radadiya, MP from Gujarat. He had contested from the Congress in 2009, but after the 2012 assembly elections he joined the BJP and got reelected from Porbandar in May. The cases include five serious ones involving rioting, dacoity, death threats and criminal intimidation.

15 Akbaruddin Owaisi, AIMIM MLA from Andhra Pradesh. Murder is among the charges. In October 2012, based on a Supreme Court direction, police booked him in the case involving a real estate dealer's killing. Owaisi and his supporters also manhandled Taslima Nasreen at Hyderabad Press Club in 2007 and were booked for criminal intimidation, a case still pending. In 2012, Owaisi was booked for making communally sensitive speeches. The charges include waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the government, besides uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings.

14 Manoj Pradhan,

BJP MLA from Orissa.

11 Ramesh Jena, Congress MLA from Orissa. Charges include attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and dacoity.

Highs & lows

Punjab: 22 of 117 MLAs, none of 13 Lok Sabha MPs (Navjot Sidhu's conviction stayed)

Haryana: 8 of 90 MLAs, 1 of 10 MPs

Himachal Pradesh: 4 of 68 MLAs, none of 4 MPs

Gujarat: 56 of 182 MLAs, 11 of 26 MPs

Maharashtra: 146 of 288 MLAs, 26 of 48 MPs (9 of 11 Shiv Sena MPs)

Goa: 12 of 40 MLAs, neither of 2 MPs

Karnataka: 74 of 224 MLAs (including 8 of 29 ministers), nine of 28 MPs (including N Dharam Singh, H D Kumaraswamy, Ananth Kumar Hegde)

Kerala: 67 of 140 MLAs, 7 of 20 MPs (P Karunakaran, A Sambath, M B Rajesh, K Sudhakaran, K P Dhanapalan, Suresh Kodikunnil, N Peethambara Kurup)

Tamil Nadu: 70 of 234 MLAs, 10 of 39 MPs

Andhra Pradesh: 27 MLAs, 2 MPs

Orissa: 48 of 147 MLAs, 5 of 21 MPs

Northeast: Assam 11 of 126 MLAs (including minister Siddeque Ahmed for rioting), Arunachal Pradesh 2 of 60, Meghalaya 1 of 60, Mizoram 1 of 40 (government's deputy chief whip R L Pianmawia, for forgery), Tripura 3 of 60, Nagaland 1 of 60

West Bengal: 102 of 294 MLAs (9 ministers), 6 of 42 MPs

Bihar: 141 of 243 MLAs, 13 of 40 MPs

UP: 189 of 403 MLAs, 22 of 80 MPs

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