It is a welcome step that the Supreme Court has expressed concern over pending criminal cases against over 150 MPs, besides issuing notices to the Centre as well as the concerned states. Albeit, the time will tell whether the Apex Court will take step as per the petitioners’ plea or not that the matter should be referred to the Fast Track court, this is now obvious had the Supreme Court not intervened, the Centre and state governments along with the Parliament would have maintained a tactical silence. Obviously, the ruling parties in the Union as well as states are not ready to take any action against their tainted MPs, but why the Parliament should also remain silent? It has been noticed that after every election, an ever-increasing number of tainted MPs has also dented the prestige of the Parliament. The election of more shaded MPs in 2009 than 2004 general elections clearly indicates that political parties are least interested in checking the criminalisation of politics, and their claims in this regard belie the truth. Within and outside the House, the political parties take pride in stating that they are dead against the entry of criminal elements and history-seaters in the politics, but when it comes to elections they easily forget their claim which is authenticated by the fact that in every Assembly and Parliament polls the number of tainted MLAs and MPs increases in comparison to the last elections. The petition filed on pending cases of such tainted public representatives and the surprise expressed by the Supreme Court indicates as to how people are successful in being able to influence the ongoing cases against them.

The political parties cannot escape with their brazen statements that their leaders involved in routine protests and related activities were falsely implicated in several cases due to political rivalry and they have been termed tainted. This logic cannot be accepted because out of 162 parliamentarians facing various criminal charges, 76 are involved in serious criminal offences. Some of them are facing the cases of murder, abduction and illegal occupation of public property. This is not a welcome sign for the legislatures where the number of public representatives facing criminal charges is increasing. In response to the Apex Court notice, whatever may be the submission of the Centre as well as the state governments, the doubt persists that the political parties through poll reforms will take step to check the criminalisation of politics. Because the fact is that the Election Commission for last years has been striving to stop even those candidates facing the cases in which they would receive a sentence of five years, but the political parties are not ready to accept it citing several reasons. Due to this attitude of the political parties, the recommendations of several committees to clean the politics and the poll reforms have been gathering dust in files.