Putting up a list of 53 MPs against whom charges have been framed under Representation of People's Act, two non-profit watchdog groups have reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver his promise of a taint-free parliament by 2015.
Incidentally, 24 MPs in the list of 53 in the current Lok Sabha are from the BJP. They include senior leaders, such as LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Mahesh Giri, against whom charges have been framed under section 8 (1) of the RP Act. They will all face immediate disqualification if they are convicted, according to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).
Section 8 of the RP Act deals with eight sections of the Indian Penal Code, including offence of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and various others Acts. The average pendency of criminal cases under section 8 (1) and 8 (3) of the RP Act is usually 10 years. But the Supreme Court on March 10, 2014 had directed all trial courts to expedite and conclude cases against MPs and MLAs within one year from the date of framing charges.
Releasing the list of tainted MPs, ADR urged Modi to write to the chief justice of the Supreme Court to ensure that all pending criminal cases against MPs are decided within a year of the date of election results. It also suggested getting a unanimous resolution passed in both houses of the parliament, requesting the chief to ensure the same.
Among those who top the list of cases under section 8 (1) and 8 (3) of the RP Act are RJD's Rajeev Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, with 13 cases; NCP's UP Bhonsale, CPM's P Karunakaran, BJD's Tathagata Satpathy with six cases each; independent Joice George and CPM's PK Sreemathi with four cases each.