Business Standard
’s most colourful politician Lalu Prasad Yadav was finally convicted by a special CBI court in the fodder scam yesterday. But it took 17 years for the verdict to be delivered, demonstrating yet again why fast track justice is the crying need of the hour. 
Indian politics is deeply criminalized – there are 162 MPs and over 1200 MLAs with pending  against them. That’s a third of Indian lawmakers who are being tried or investigated for crime. 
According to a report in The Hindu, A joint study by the Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch showed that the Congress has the lowest percentage (21%) of MPs and MLAs with criminal cases while Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the ruling party in Jharkhand has the highest percentage (82%) of leaders with criminal cases. 31% of BJP leaders, 48% of Samajwadi Party leaders and 64% of RJD leaders have criminal cases against themselves. The study also found that Congress while having the least number of criminal netas, leads the charts on parties giving tickets to candidates facing corruption charges. 
Here is a list of the 10 most high profile  who have been tainted by allegations of serious criminality – 
#1 LK Advani – The Senior BJP Leader is fighting the Babri Masjid demolition case. The CBI had charge-sheeted Advani and 20 others under sections 153A, 153B and 505 for promoting enmity between different groups and rioting. The Allahabad High Court dropped the conspiracy charge against Advani and 19 others including Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi. The CBI has filed an appeal in the apex court and the case is expected to come up for hearing in October. 
#2 Rajnath Singh – The BJP President has been accused of promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race etc and of doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony under Section 153 A, 153 B and 505. An FIR was filed against Singh in Lucknow in 2007 for releasing a communally inflammatory compact disc. 
#3 Amit Shah – Modi’s right hand man, now leading the BJP’s election campaign in Uttar Pradesh has been charged under several sections of the IPC in cases related to murder and  kidnapping as well as several other charges of extortion, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy and wrongful restraint. 
#4 Varun Gandhi – The ‘other’ Gandhi scion has been implicated in at least 3 cases and under various sections of the IPC and People’s Representation Act for his hate speeches and communal remarks during an election campaign in Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. Gandhi has been acquitted in 2 cases, but the Uttar Pradesh government has filed a petition challenging his acquittal. 
#5 Gopinath Munde – The BJP’s Deputy Leader of Lok Sabha has been accused in 4 criminal cases on charges ranging from kidnapping, causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement. 
#6 The Owaisi brothers – AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, Member of Parliament from Hyderabad and his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi have been accused of 4 cases of criminal conduct each, under several sections of the IPC for their much publicized hate speeches. Charges relate to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, injuring or defiling places of worship with intent to insult, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, rioting among others. 
#7 P Karunakaran – The CMP leader from Kasargod has the maximum number of cases registered against him. He is fighting 12 different cases under myriad sections like 469 and 465 on charges of forgery, forgery for purpose of harming reputation, defemation etc. 
#8 Rasheed Masood – This Congress leader has the dubious distinction of being the first parliamentarian to be found guilty in a criminal case after the SC ruling on disqualification. Masood has been sentenced today for 4 years by a Delhi court and has been taken into custody. Masood was held guilty of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery). He, however, was acquitted of the charge under Section 471 IPC (using as genuine a forged document).Masood was Health Minister in the VP Singh government and has been held  guilty of fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates to MBBS seats allotted to Tripura in medical colleges across the country from the central pool, depriving candiates from the North East.
#9 Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury – This congress leader, currently Minister of State for Railways faces 5 cases under the IPC including a charge under Section 302 which relates to murder. An arrest warrant has been issued against the Union Minister who is accused of conspiracy in the murder of Trinamool Congress leader Kamal Sheik 2 years ago.
#10 Navjot Singh Siddhu – This cricketer and BJP leader has been convicted under Section 302 for murder. The Supreme Court has stayed the conviction as of date. 
Beyond those implicated for crimes, there are also a host of big politicos cutting across party lines facing serious graft allegations.
Om Prakash Chautala, the Ex-Haryana Chief Minister is serving a 10 year jail term in a teacher recruitment scam. He was held guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine, conspiracy under IPC and for abusing his official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act. 
Ex-BJP President Bangaru Laxman was convicted by a special CBI court last year, on charges of accepting money to facilitate government contracts, after he was stinged by Tehelka journalists who posed as arms dealers in 2001. Mr Laxman was held guilty under Section 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and is serving a jail term for 4 years. 
AIADMK leader J Jayalalitha has several cases pending against her, being accused of amassing disproportionate assets, a matter that’s been pending in the courts for over 15 years. Tamil Nadu leaders like DMK Supremo M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, former Telecom Minister A. Raja meanwhile, have been charged under various provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act for their role in the 2G scam. They did time in jail as well! 
Then there are those who’ve had cases against them quashed. Just this month the CBI closed a case againstMulayam Singh Yadav and his family for having amassed wealth beyond their declared sources, for the lack of insufficient evidence, while arch rival and BSP’s Mayawati got reprieve from the apex court last month, after it said that CBI’s 9-year investigation in the disproportionate assets case will not be reopened. 
High profile leaders who have been accused of corruption, but not had cases filed against them include the likes of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid who was implicated in a Rs 71 lakh scam earlier this year and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul who were indicted by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of a Rs 1,600 Cr fraud. BJP’s Nitin Gadkari was also in the spotlight late last year for dubious funding trails of his companies, while NCP Chief Sharad Pawar had to quit a ministers’ panel in charge of fighting corruption in 2011 after being publicly criticized by Anna Hazare for charges leveled against him by Ex-IPS officer Y P Singh. 
Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karthi Chidambaram are some of the kin of politicians who’ve recently come under the spotlight for alleged graft through their businesses.
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