'Half of Jharkhand legislators face criminal cases'

Ranchi, Sep 18 (IANS) Nearly half of Jharkhand's 81 legislators face different types of criminal cases, and 20 of them face serious criminal cases, says an affidavit filed in the Jharkhand High Court by the state government.

"The state government has submitted a list of 40 legislators in the Jharkhand High Court who are facing different types of criminal cases. More than 20 of these legislators are facing cases in which the sentence could be 10 years to life imprisonment," Rajeev Kumar, a lawyer who filed a petition in the court on behalf of India Against Corruption (IAC), told IANS.

"We moved the court pleading there are 59 legislators, who are facing criminal cases. But the state government affidavit says that there are 40 legislators who have different types of criminal cases against them," the lawyer said

"We have demanded trial of the cases in fast track courts," he added.

"The cases against several of these legislators have been pending for more than 20 years, and the police records of many tainted legislators are missing. We requested Jharkhand High Court to constitute Special Task Force (STF) and probe all the cases," Rajeev Kumar said.

"As per records, 30 percent of the legislators elected in 2005 assembly polls were facing different types of criminal cases, which rose to more than 50 per cent in 2009 assembly polls."

"The law enforcing agencies should act timely so that the number of tainted legislators does not rise in 2014 assembly polls," said Kumar.

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