Rajasthan News

34 Rajasthan legislators facing criminal charges

by RajasthanDirect
Jul 12, 2013

Thirty out of 200 members of Rajasthan Assembly faced criminal charges when they were elected in 2008.

Currently, the figure stands at 34. The four more cases are post-poll development and most of them did not face any criminal charges in the past.

Though none of these legislators are convicted, alleged involvement in fake encounters or illicit relationships have put them on a sticky wicket which are strong enough to dampen their political careers. While the debate on entry of cleaner people in politics gets stronger, the state has registered a two per cent growth in legislators with criminal records since they were voted to power in 2008. All of them face serious charges.

According to Wednesday’s Supreme court’s order, two of the legislators Mahipal singh Maderna and Malkhan Singh have already lost their chance to contest the next election as they are in custody.As per Tuesday’s development in the apex court, if convicted, the political careers of these 34 legislators, including five, who were recently charged, would be jeopardized.

As per the figures compiled after 2008 Assembly elections by the Rajasthan Election Watch, an organisation working for democratic reforms, of the 102 Congress legislators (including six of the BSP legislators who later joined Congress), 18 face criminal charges while of the 79 BJP MLAs, 5 face criminal cases. The number has increased to 20 for the Congress and seven for BJP. The list also includes one CPM MLA, 5 Independent legislators and 1 from LSWP.

It began with the Bhanwari Devi case, which rocked the state, forcing the resignation of minister Mahipal Singh Maderna in October 2011. The CBI in February 2012 charged Maderna and Malkhan Singh, Congress legislator from Luni (Jodhpur) with murder, abduction, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence in the Bhanwari Devi murder case.

This was followed by a case of illegal mining being filed against another minister Bharosi Lal Jatav and his four sons, following a court order. An FIR under various sections of IPC, including 425 (mischief), 467 (forgery of documents), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) were filed against them in October 2012, which also cost the minister for real estate and motor garage his berth in the cabinet. Jatav is also charged in a case related to attempt to commit culpable homicide, which he had mentioned in his nomination papers.

Names of BJP’s senior legislators Rajendra Rathore and Gulab Chand Kataria respectively figured in CBI chargesheets in the Dara Singh and Sohrabuddin fake encounter cases. While Rathore was arrested by the CBI in April 2012 in the Dara Singh encounter case, the investigation agency named Kataria in its supplementary chargesheet in the Sohrabuddin case in May 2013.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, had named Rathore as the main accused and conspirator for staging the fake encounter by the SOG on the outskirts of Jaipur on October 23, 2006. He was acquitted by a lower court in May 2012 but was directed by Rajasthan High Court in October 2012 to surrender again, which was stayed by Supreme Court.

BJP in the state faced another jolt in May 2013 when Kataria was charged with murder, destruction of evidence, abduction, and criminal conspiracy among other serious IPC sections in the Sohrabuddin case.

Of those who are facing criminal cases as contestants, charges against CPM legislator Pawan Duggal and then BSP candidate Rajendra Singh Guda are the most serious. Anupgarh MLA Duggal declared 13 criminal cases against him, including six charges in an attempt to murder case and two charges of theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint. Udaipurwati MLA Guda declared seven criminal cases along with two charges each of attempt to murder and kidnapping. Another BSP candidate and now the minister of state for health Dr Rajkumar Sharma also declared seven criminal cases along with one charge of attempt to murder.

Another minister in the state cabinet Parsadi Lal Meena, an Independent candidate, also faces murder charge along with three other criminal cases. An FIR against the minister was registered at the Gandhi Nagar police station in 2006 for abduction and murder of a youth working at his house.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/34-legislators-in-Rajasthan-face-criminal-charges/articleshow/21029487.cms

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