Over 50 per cent of Bihar's MLAs have criminal cases pending against them, a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms and Bihar Election Watch has revealed.

The report was issued on Saturday, three days after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to set up special courts exclusively for speeding up trials in criminal cases pending against 1,581 MPs and MLAs since 2014.

In the report on the Bihar legislators and MPs released by the agencies, 141 MLAs across parties have pending criminal cases. Of them, 97 have declared serious criminal cases pending against them in their election affidavits.

Out of the RJD's 80 MLAs, 46 have declared criminal cases against themselves of which 34 have serious criminal cases. One of the 80 MLAs, Mundrika Singh Yadav, died recently.

When the report looks at the parties in power, 37 of the JDU's 71 MLAs face criminal cases. Twenty-eight of the Dal members face serious charges. The BJP, which has 53 MLAs, have 34 legislators facing criminal cases, 19 of them serious. Sixteen of the Congress' 27 MLAs also face criminal charges, 11 of them for serious offences.

The agencies have also looked at the Lok Sabha members from Bihar, and say 50 per cent of them face serious criminal charges.

Of the BJP's 22 MPs, 14 face criminal charges including eight who face serious charges. Half of the 6 LJP members face serious charges while all of RJD's MPs face serious charges. One of them, Mohammad Taslimuddin, died recently.

Upendra Kushwaha's party RLSP, an ally of the BJP, has 3 MPs and two of them face serious charges. Congress and JDU's, which have 4 MPs in the lower House, one person each face serious charges.

Even in the Rajya Sabha, three of the 16 Bihar MPs face serious charges - two from BJP and one from the RJD.

The report expresses hope that the Centre would come up with the scheme to set up special fast-track courts by December 13 as recommended by the apex court in its order to expedite ruling of pending criminal cases against elected representatives.

In Bihar, fielding candidates with criminal background has been common the past two decades. In some cases, wives and family members of convicted leaders have also been fielded in the elections.

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