The study conducted by Association of Democratic Reform (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) on sitting MLAs and MPs from all states and Union Territories showed 850 per cent increase in the number MPs in last ten years who have a case against themselves on crimes against women and 231 per cent increase in candidates with the crime against women. In last 5 years, there were 572 candidates with the crime against woman's record contested in the state assembly, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. But none of them are convicted. The study emphasized and410 among these were candidates of recognized major political parties.
"This depicts that the political parties are not concerned about crime against women. Appallingly, the political parties which are led by women, such as INC, BSP and AITC have been fielding candidates with declared cases related to crime against women," ADR report says. Among recognised political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has an uppermost number of candidates related to crimes against women which stands at 55, followed by Indian National Congress (INC) with 46 MLAs/MPs.
ADR and NEW study observe this travesty in the political system hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens. Persons with case record of actions against women coming into being office bearers can use their influence to interfere in investigation and can delay the judicial process, the report observed. ADR and NEW strongly recommended debarring candidates with criminal records from contesting in elections, to speed up the judicial process in cases against MLAs and MPs in a time-bound manner and asked political parties to disclose their criteria in which candidateship is given.
State-wise analysis of last ten years finds West Bengal as the state with the greatest number of MLAs or MPs with declared cases related crimes against women (19) on themselves, followed by Odisha and Maharashtra, 12 each. The study highlights that in last 5 years 84 candidates from Maharashtra and 75 from West Bengal were given political ticket even though they have declared cases on crime against women in their affidavit. The study was conducted based on the affidavits submitted before the election commission.