Why only Prajwal Revanna? Sitting Lok Sabha members, 2024 LS poll candidates have cases of crime against women

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Creating ripples in political circles which could have its effect on the outcome of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka on Tuesday suspended Hassan Member of Parliament Prajwal Revanna over the sex-scandal besides also issued a show-cause notice over the allegations by several victims. The suspend MP is the grandson of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
He was booked under sections 354A, 354D, 506, and 509 of IPC in a case of alleged sexual harassment on April 28 following complaints by his former house maid. The charges leelled against the MP are outraging the dignity of a woman, sexual harassment and intimidation.
Revanna is the candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party-JD(S) alliance in Hassan, Karnataka, which witnessed polling in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on April 26.

However, this is an isolated case of a Member of Parliament committing crime against the fair sex. A look at the affidavits submitted by candidates during nominations for the 2024 Lok Saha polls revealed that a sizeable count of candidates from national parties as well as independent candidates had cases of crime committed against women registered against their names.

80 candidates with cases of crime committed against women filed nominations

Reports revealed that in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls 17 candidates have cases of crime committed against women against their names while in second phase of polling 25 candidates had such cases registered against their names. Similarly, in the third phase, 38 candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Of these 38 candidates, 2 candidates have declared charges pertaining to rape under section 376 of IPC and whoever commits rape repeatedly on the same woman, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years, but may extend to imprisonment under Section 376(2)(n)) of IPC.

In 2019 Lok Sabha

A total of 16 Sitting MPs have declared cases related to crimes against women. Out of 16 Sitting MPs, 3 Sitting MPs have declared cases related to rape registered under section 376 of IPC.

In 2014 Lok Sabha

Adv Joice George, an Independent from Idukki constituency, Kerala has declared a case related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty registered under section 354 of IPC. Ahir Hansraj Gangaram of BJP from Chandrapur constituency, Maharashtra has declared a case related to Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc registered under section 366 of IPC.

Supreme Court Guidelines

Interestingly, despite clear orders of the Supreme Court dated February 13, 2020 directing political parties to state reason for such selection and why other individuals without criminal background be not given a chance, the present trend proves otherwise. As per these mandatory guidelines, the reason for such selection has to be with reference to qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned.
It may be mentioned that in the recently held Assembly polls in five states last year, political parties generally gave groundless reasons including popularity of the candidate, social work achievements and social acceptance, criminal cases pending against the candidate as politically motivated etc which out rightly seemed unreliable. Such a practice by political parties clarified their stand on the issue that they were not willing to drop their choice which could win seats rather than help the present deterioration in political system to improve.

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