Why chief justice of India Dipak Misra asked how can convicted politician head a party

Tikender Panwar
Tikender PanwarFeb 15, 2018 | 10:41

Why chief justice of India Dipak Misra asked how can convicted politician head a party

The chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, in a recent statement questioned the logic behind having a criminal and corrupt person as head of a political party. He further said such a lapse was a huge blow to the purity of the election process.

One does not find anything wrong in the statement. After all, it has come from the highest officer of the judiciary in the country. In fact, it should be welcomed by everyone. But when the CJI describes someone as criminal, does it lead to believe that a person convicted in any section of the Indian Penal Code or of other penal codes existing in the country becomes a criminal? Should such a person be disqualified not just from contesting the elections, but also from the party organisation that she/he represents?


One can understand when a person is indicted, charged with and convicted in heinous crimes such as rape, narcotics and psychotropic substances, crimes against women, crimes related to social issues, money-laundering. The list may be long. But cases registered while leading movements and agitations should not qualify in the same bracket.

dipak-mishra_body_021418082124.jpgChief Justice of India Dipak Misra

In the past few years, we have seen a spurt in the mobilisation of the people and even leading to confrontation with the police. In almost all such instances, criminal cases have been slapped against the leaders leading such movements. The recent examples of movements for farmers' rights in Rajasthan have shown that more than a dozen cases have been registered against the leadership of the farmers union.

Similarly, student agitations on campuses for their democratic rights throughout the country have witnessed hundreds of cases registered against them. JNU students were booked under the security act. There are innumerable instances where the Dalits leading the movement were slapped with cases in different parts of the country. The AFSPA robs the citizens even of the right to be heard and the accused are produced before court at the whims and fancy of investigation officers. Several states still continue with this draconian law. Kashmir and Manipur are the burning examples. Thousands of people have been booked under various provisions of the law. Does that mean that all of them are criminals?


Such a move would disenfranchise a large section of the Opposition. The ruling dispensation in the country will have the liberty to abuse the law and target the Opposition by registering cases against them.

Thirty four per cent of the parliamentarians elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014 have criminal background, but almost half of them have cases pertaining to peccadillos relating to rioting, unlawful assembly etc.


There is no doubt that the politics of the country has to be ridden off criminal elements. The nexus of money, criminal elements and the bureaucrats must be crushed. This does not remain a hidden fact that a long list of people indulging in crime are protected by this nexus and hardly get indicted. Conviction is a long journey for people under the above nexus. They control not just politics, but also the money in their respective constituencies. There is a whole bunch of people getting facilitated with the formation of governments in the states. They vie for getting contracts for developmental works from the government through an established mechanism of corruption and bribery.

However, such cases do not even get reported. They are important part of the triangle, which are not just corrupt but criminal to the core. However, they are never booked under the law as they manage the law quite smartly.


The CJI is apt in recommending the ban on corrupt and criminal elements in the political domain, but a demarcation has to be made. The demarcation between the people who lent their support for the rights of the common man and those who aggrandise the system for personal gains.


Last updated: August 28, 2018 | 17:36
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