Online Quiz Test

Criminalization of Politics

Tags: GS 2 Parliament & State Legislatures Government Policies & Interventions Important Aspects of Governance

In Context

  • As a result of citizens’ acceptance of a failed criminal justice system, not only do they elect politicians with criminal records, but they also applaud extrajudicial murders.

Criminalization of Politics :


  •  It implies the involvement of criminals in politics. This implies that individuals with criminal histories can run for office and be elected as members of parliament or state legislature.

Major Reasons

  • The connection between criminals and politicians and vote-bank politics has led to the criminalization of political parties.
  • Lack of enforcement of laws and court decisions; o Lack of ethics, values, and loopholes in the election commission’s function.
  • It is also associated with political control of state apparatus and corruption.
  • The political system is averse to alter the law or the political structure.


Issues of Criminalization of Politics:

Elected members with criminal records

  • Nearly forty percent of the current members of Parliament have pending criminal cases, but the majority do not feel vulnerable or threatened because the trials will take years to conclude.

Question of safety & security

  • The primary function of government is to ensure the safety and security of the citizens who elect their representatives to this position.
  • But if the elected officials themselves have criminal records, would they be interested in an expeditious and efficient criminal justice system?

Low conviction rate

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s report for 2021, only 10,416 homicide cases were resolved with a conviction rate of 42.4%.
  • The minister of justice has acknowledged that there are over 4,7 million pending cases in various tribunals.

Situation in police stations

  • Politicians play a significant role at police stations, jeopardizing the integrity and impartiality of field personnel.
  • Over time, ordinary criminals become feared and establish gangs that extort money, seize land, and threaten witnesses in criminal cases, etc.

Various Initiatives were taken in this context :

  • Throughout the years, there have been attempts to decriminalize politics and pleas for reform to address the urgent need for change.

Vohra Committee

  •  In 1993, the Centre established the Vohra Committee, which issued a warning that “some political leaders become the leaders of these gangs/armed senas and, over the years, get themselves elected to local bodies, state assemblies, and the national Parliament.”

Law Commission’s 179th report

  • In its 179th report, the Law commission recommended an amendment to the Representation of the people act of 1951.
  • It was suggested that individuals with a criminal history be disqualified for five years or until acquittal.
  • It was also suggested that those who wish to run for office must provide information about any pending cases, along with a copy of the FIR/complaint, as well as information about their assets.
  • However, the government took no action on the recommendation due to a lack of consensus among political parties.

Supreme Court’s judgments & orders

  • In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that all candidates must disclose their criminal and financial histories in addition to their educational credentials.
  • In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting MP or MLA is disqualified from running for re-election if convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more by a court of law.
  • In 2014, the apex court accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations and issued an order mandating that trials against sitting MPs and MLAs be concluded within one year of charges being framed and conducted on a daily basis.
  • As a result of these directives, the Union government launched a program in 2017 to establish 12 special tribunals for one year to expedite the trial of criminal cases involving MPs and MLAs.
  • In 2021, the supreme court ordered political parties to post on their websites and social media platforms the details of pending criminal cases involving their candidates, as well as the reasons for selecting them and not giving tickets to those without criminal records.


Rightful demands

  • In this dismal scenario, our response as citizens should be to demand more courts, judges, and judicial infrastructure, not to encourage “encounters” as we appear to be doing.

Stopping the electability of criminals

  •  Examining the connection between crime, money, and physical force will be among the initial measures required.
  •  The increasing reliance of political parties on criminals for physical power and “electability” must be halted.
  • It is time for all political parties to come together and develop a consensus on keeping criminals out of the system, including those accused of kidnapping, rape, murder, grave corruption, and offenses against women.

Vigilant voters

  •  During elections, voters must also be vigilant against the misuse of money, gifts, and other inducements.

Efficient Use of technology

  • According to the current Chief Justice of India, technology is a potent tool for ensuring swift trials.
  • Citizens must cultivate public support for the implementation of online court proceedings at all levels.
  • Courts must reduce the frequency of adjournments and the duration of trials. Inmate court appearances can also be conducted online, relieving police of escorting duties.
  • Telemedicine facilities can be used to treat minor maladies for detainees; thus, more police officers will be available on the ground.

Regular training of Police force

  • Police officers must receive regular training on the Constitution and human rights so that they do not rely on their firearms.
  • It is regrettable that, after completing their fundamental police training, so few officers take in-service courses in law or investigation.

Online training

  • Online training has recently gained popularity among numerous state police agencies.
  • According to the Bureau of Police Research and Development, approximately 20 percent of police positions are vacant across the nation. Therefore, police station officers are reluctant to send their field personnel to police academies for training.
  • Modules of online training can bridge the divide.

Way ahead

  • The upcoming route is lengthy and convoluted. Voices of reason against unconstitutional methods are not only neglected, but also ridiculed.
  • Technology and public pressure are necessary for an effective criminal justice system to serve as a civilized alternative to the gun-obsessed gun culture.
  • It is in the best interests of the world’s most populous nation to invest in the training of its law enforcement officers and to adequately resource its judicial system.


Daily Mains Question

[Q] What issues are associated with the criminalization of politics in India? Examine the efforts that have been made to decriminalize politics. Offer suggestions for reducing the electability of criminals.