You can get much further with kind word and a gun then with kind words alone.
This quote suits best in the Indian political scenario. Every political party,
whether National or Regional, have associations with criminals, so it wouldn’t
be wrong to say that criminals have utilized the opportunity to shape their
future by getting into politics.
Our first president Dr Rajendra Prasad said
that “If the people who are elected are capable and men of character and
integrity, then they would be able to make the best of even of a defective
constitution. If they are lacking in these, the constitution cannot help the
country. After all, a constitution like a machine is a lifeless thing. It
acquires life because of the men who control it and operate it, and India needs
today nothing more than a set of honest men who will have the interest of the
country before them…It requires men of strong character, men of vision, men who
will not sacrifice the interests of the country at large for the sake of smaller
groups and areas…We can only hope that the country will throw up such men in
abundance”. If our representatives that we choose and send them to make laws
for ourselves are criminals themselves then how can we except the nation to
grow, all this will lead to rise in crime, Mafia controlling our resources and
corruption at every tier of government.
Our constitution does not specify as to what disqualifies a person from
contesting election for the Parliament, Legislative assembly or any other
legislature, the Representation of Peoples act which mentions the criteria for
disqualifying a person for contesting an election of legislature. Section 8 of
the act, i.e. Disqualification on conviction for certain offences, according to
which individual punished with a jail term of more than two years cannot stand
in an election for six years after the jail term has ended. The law does not bar
individuals who have criminal cases pending against them from contesting
elections therefore the disqualification of candidates with criminal cases
depends on their conviction in these cases. With cases dragging in courts for
years, a disqualification based on conviction becomes ineffective due to low
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in their report
from 2014 gave concrete numbers to this effect. According to their report, 30%
of sitting MPs and MLAs were facing some form of criminal proceedings, and only
0.5% were convicted of criminal charges in a court of law.
If a lower court has convicted an individual, he cannot contest an election
unless a higher court has overturned his conviction. Simply filing an appeal
against the judgment of the lower court is not enough. In 2013, the apex court
in the case Lily Thomas vs. Union of India ruled that a sitting MP and MLA
convicted of a jail term of two years or more would lose their seat in the
legislature immediately. Further, Section 8(4) of the Representation of the
People Act, which allowed elected representatives three months to appeal their
conviction, was declared unconstitutional by the bench of Justice A. K. Patnaik and Justice S. J. Mukhopadhaya.
Every political party now a day’s need criminals and mafia’s to work for their
party so that these guys can distribute liquor, money, food and other things in
return for votes during the implementation of code of conduct, or to rig
election voting, collecting political funds for parties and many other
things. Every politician and big leader has either faced criminal charges or has
been to jail, including many ministers of the union and state both. In fact many
chief ministers of various states are accused of a criminal case and some of
them have been found guilty.
Every Prime Minister of India starting from the
first to the present was either accused of a criminal case or was sent to jail
once in their lifetime, but all of them claim that the cases against them are
results of political witch hunt and they are political victims.
Some of the legal remedies to curb the spread of criminals in politics to
disqualify candidates who are charged with criminal offences which have a
maximum punishment of five years or more, and also the charges filed up to one
year before the date of scrutiny of nominations would not lead to a
disqualification. This safeguard would then minimize politically motivated cases
from being filed against an individual before an upcoming election. Where a
sitting MLA or MP is accused then the trial must be conducted on day to day
basis and try to complete it within a year.
The biggest problem is that voters don’t mind electing candidates facing
criminal cases. Voter behavior then emboldens political parties to give tickets
to such candidates who can win an election on their ticket. At the end I guess
it is the common man again who is to be blamed for his innocence and
 Constituent assembly debates.
 (2000) 6 SCC 224