Criminalization of Politics

Recently, the Indian Supreme Court published some necessary mandates to avert the criminalisation of politics as many lawsuits have been withdrawn against MPs (Members of Parliament) and MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) in the past. So to curb this, the Apex court in India declared that a criminal lawsuit against a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly can get withdrawn merely after obtaining the approval of the State High Court involved.

In another instance, the Supreme Court published a few measures to eliminate the criminalisation from lawmakers. Keep reading the article below to know more about the criminalisation of politics UPSC concepts that can help you better prepare for your upcoming IAS exam.

Learn about major 25 Important Supreme Court Judgements for UPSC and related notes in the linked article.

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What do we mean by the criminalisation of politics?

The criminalisation of politics implies the increasing involvement of criminals and individuals with criminal charges in Indian politics. In addition, this term means people coming from criminal backgrounds and becoming politicians and elected delegates.

Furthermore, as per Section 8 of the Indian Representative of People Act, any individual imprisoned for a term of more than 2 years cannot file as a candidate in elections until 6 years of his release from jail. However, due to the prevailing criminalisation of politics in India, this provision is not effective in practical life.

Understanding the Causes of Criminalisation in Politics

The most significant cause of the criminalisation of politics is the profane relationship between bureaucracy and politicians.

This unwanted and destructive connection between bureaucracy and political managers increased the scope of the criminalisation of politics. Religion and caste are both accountable for the criminalisation of politics. Also, in bureaucracy, there are specific approaches and regulations for promotion. However, religion and caste both meddle in this procedure, and in numerous Indian states, less competent people get a chance to serve as public servants and in politics.

Also, refer to the following links:

Sources of Indian Constitution Evolution and Framing of the Constitution
Important Amendments in Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
History of Indian Constitution Basic Structure Doctrine of Indian Constitution

What are Some Reasons for the Criminalisation of Politics in India?

Here are some of the top reasons for the criminalisation of politics in India.

  • Vote Bank

The political parties have massive expenses for elections and other pursuits to get higher votes and gain power. In addition, a politician’s connection with the constituency delivers a suitable climate to political corruption and criminality.

  • Corruption

Corruption further plays a crucial role in fostering the criminalisation of politics. By bribing people from a criminal background, one can corrupt the entire system to gain power and political dominance.

  • Lack of governance

In our country, at the time of contesting elections, there is usually a lack of governance. In addition, given this lack of governance, there is usually no true plan, and no one follows proper procedures set for fighting fair elections.

  • Narrow Self-interests

Publicising the complete criminal history of election nominees fielded by different political parties may not be reasonable. A significant group of Indian voters tends to vote through a constrained lens of society interests like religion or caste.

What are some Consequences of the Criminalisation of Politics?

Below are some repercussions of the criminalisation of politics.

  • The existence of individuals with criminal backgrounds in Indian politics and the nation’s law-making holds adverse consequences on the quality of the country’s democracy.
  • Tremendous portions of unlawful funds pour into the electoral cycle due to comprehensive connections with the unlawful underworld.
  • The criminalisation of Indian politics holds the effect of restricting the procedure of righteousness and causing further uncertainties in trials.
  • Offenders entering Indian politics further boosts crime in public life. It negatively affects the state organisations, including the executive, bureaucracy, legislature, and courts.
  • The criminalisation of politics presents a culture of violence in the community and exemplifies the youth.

In a nutshell, the criminalisation of politics and corruption is striking at the origins of democracy. Therefore, it is high time that the Indian Parliament takes measures urgently to restrain this risk.

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Other Related Links:

Indian Polity Notes IAS Prelims: UPSC MCQ On Polity
Polity Questions and Answers for UPSC Topic-Wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains
Previous Year UPSC Prelims Polity Questions With Solutions Indian Polity Questions in UPSC Mains GS 2

Frequently Asked Questions on Criminalization of Politics


What do we mean by the criminalisation of politics in India?

The criminalisation of politics in India is the increased involvement of criminals and individuals with criminal charges entering politics.


How do I study the topic of criminalisation of politics?

You can refer to the points above and go through detailed online notes to clear your concepts for this topic.


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