Kolkata: Thirty-seven per cent of the sitting MLAs in West Bengal - 104 out of the 282 - have criminal cases against them, according to a study jointly conducted by the West Bengal Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), PTI reported. In the report released on Wednesday, the civil society organisations said that 90 (32 per cent) of the sitting legislators in the state assembly have declared having serious criminal cases against them.
"Serious criminal cases" are non-bailable offences that entail punishment for more than five years, a spokesperson of the West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW) said.
The WBEW along with the ADR has analysed the criminal background, financial, education, gender and other details of sitting MLAs based on their self-sworn affidavits and found that 61 of the 205 Trinamool Congress MLAs and 15 of the 39 legislators of the Congress have serious criminal cases against them.
Ten of the 24 CPI(M) MLAs, three of the BJP''s six legislators and one Independent MLA also have serious criminal cases against them.
Seven MLAs have cases related to murder against them, 24 have been booked in attempt to murder cases while cases related to crime against women have been lodged against 10 MLAs, according to the "Analysis of criminal background, financial, education, gender and other details of 282 MLAs out of the 294 sitting MLAs".
Ten seats are vacant in the current assembly, while analysis of the affidavits of two MLAs could not be done as they were "unclear", the report said.
There are 97 ''crorepati'' MLAs. Of them, 78 belong to the ruling TMC and 13 are from the Congress, it said.
The CPI(M) and the BJP have two crorepati MLAs each and of the two other such legislators, one belongs to the Revolutionary Socialist Party and one is independent.
The survey also found that 92 MLAs have educational qualification between 8th standard pass and 12th standard pass while 187 are graduates and above.
While two MLAs are diploma holders, one is just literate, it stated.
There are 41 women MLAs (15 per cent of the total strength) in the assembly, while 185 (66 per cent) are aged between 51 and 80 years.
The analysis has been done on the basis of the affidavits submitted by candidates prior to the 2016 assembly elections and by-elections conducted after that.
The next assembly election will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.
(with minor edits from PTI)