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Corruption pan-India: With average asset of Rs 8.59 crores, 34 percent State Assembly Ministers also have criminal cases against them

An analysis of Council of Ministers from 29 State Assemblies and 2 Union Territories of India

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Representational Image. Image source: athavaneng.com

“If you are born into a world ruled by corruption- What would you do?” says a documentary on Kiran Bedi, Yes Madam, Sir. The line raises many questions on our mind, that how corruption has become a part of normal life. This is more of a black patch in the society that has a terrible impact on the economy as well as causes huge social instability and riots at times. But, as they say, be the change you want to see- here are two organisations, fighting the oddities related to political reforms to make India ‘clean’, in the true sense of the term.

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) & National Election Watch (NEW) recently analysed the self-sworn affidavits of current Ministers in State Assemblies and Union Territories across India.  A total of 609 Ministers out of 620 have been analysed across 29 State Assemblies and 2 Union Territories.

Please find below a detailed summary of the survey that was released by Association for Democratic Reform’s Website on August 5, 2016:

 CRIMINAL CASES:

  • Ministers with Criminal Cases: Out of the 609 ministers analysed from state assemblies, 210 (34%) ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves. Out of the 78 Union council of ministers analysed, 24 (31%) have declared criminal cases against themselves.
  • Ministers with Serious Criminal Cases: 113 (19%) ministers from State assemblies have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, crimes against women etc. Out of the 78 ministers analysed from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, 14 (18%) have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

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  • State Wise- Highest Percentage of Ministers with Serious Criminal Cases: 9 (82%) out of 11 ministers from Jharkhand, 4 (57%) out of 7 ministers from Delhi, 9 (53%) out of 17 ministers from Telangana, 18 (46%) out of 39 ministers from Maharashtra, 11(39%) out of 28 ministers from Bihar, and 2 (25%) out of 8 ministers from Uttarakhand have declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their self-sworn affidavits.

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  • Ministers with Charges related to Murder 7 ministers from State Assemblies have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302).
  • Ministers with Charges related to Communal Violence: 6 ministers have declared cases related to communal violence.(Indian Penal Code Sections-153A, 295 and 295A).

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FINANCIAL ASSETS:

  • Average Assets of Ministers: The average of assets per minister from state assemblies is Rs 8.59 Crores.  As compared to this, the average assets of the Union Council of Ministers are Rs 12.94 Crores.

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  • Average Assets of Ministers with declared criminal cases from State Assemblies vs Average Assets of Ministers with no Criminal Cases: The average assets of Ministers with declared criminal cases is Rs 9.52 Crores. As compared to this, the average assets of ministers with no criminal cases are Rs 8.10 Crores.
  • States with Highest Average Assets of Ministers: The state with the highest average assets per minister is Andhra Pradesh(20 ministers) with average assets of Rs 45.49 crores, followed by Karnataka (31 ministers) with average assets of Rs 36.96 crores and Arunachal Pradesh (7 ministers) with average assets of Rs 32.62 crores.

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GENDER BIASES:

  • Gender details of Ministers: Out of 609 ministers, 51 (8%) ministers are women. The highest number of women ministers are from Madhya Pradesh 5(17%) followed by Tamil Nadu with 5(15%).

*Some ministers may be exempted from filing Income Tax Returns.

  • Ministers who have not declared ITR:  Out of 609 ministers analyzed, 134 ministers (22%) have declared that they did not file Income Tax Returns.
  • States with Highest Percentage of Crorepati Ministers: All State Council of Ministers analyzed from Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Puducherry are 100% crorepatis. They are followed by 97% of ministers of Karnataka and 92 % of ministers from Rajasthan, Goa, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh who have also declared assets valued at Rs 1 crore and above. 
  • Crorepati Ministers: Out of the 609 ministers analysed from State Assemblies, 462 (76%) are crorepatis.
  • States with Lowest Average Assets of Ministers: The state with the lowest average assets of ministers is Tripura (12 ministers) with average assets of Rs 31.67 lakhs, followed by Kerala (19 ministers) with average assets of Rs 78.72 lakhs andManipur (11 ministers) with average assets of Rs 83.92 lakhs.
  • It is to be noted that there are no women ministers in Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Punjab, and Telangana Assemblies.

 

Education

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The Pie chart reveals the literacy rate among the number of ministers analyzed. Source: ADR

Age

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Graph showing the age group of ministers. Source: ADR

Established in 1999, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) aims to improve governance and strengthen democracy by continuous work in the area of electoral and political Reforms. Removing corruption and decriminalizing the political process is one of the principal focus of the organisation.

On the other hand, National Election Watch (NEW) is a coalition of civil society organizations that began operations surrounding the 1997 Sierra Leonean Presidential elections. Their main objectives are: Observing not only the polling day but the entire electoral process, deploying an Observer in every polling station and preparing a situational report with appropriate recommendations.

Read the case details of the survey at- www.adrindia.org

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Journalist Behind the Panama Papers Killed in a Car Bomb

Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

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Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. (Representative image) Pixabay

Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.

Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”

ALSO READ Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.

According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.

The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.

Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)

 

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Amit Shah Rejects Allegation of Money Laundering on Son Jay Shah

"Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks," claimed Amit Shah at an event.

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Amit Shah, BJP National President. Wikimedia

Ahmedabad, October 13, 2017 : Breaking his silence, BJP president Amit Shah rejected allegations of money laundering against his son Jay Shah whose company had reportedly recorded an extraordinary spike in business after the BJP came to power at the Centre, and asserted that it had not done any business with the government nor taken any kickbacks.

He also said that unlike the Congress, which had faced many corruption charges in the past, his son has shown courage to file a civil and criminal defamation suit on the allegations levelled against him and “invited a probe against himself” by this step.

“There is no money laundering involved in Jay’s company. This company is completely in commodity business, where turnover is more while the profit is less. We have exported bajra, corn and rice while coriander was imported. And after doing a turnover of Rs 80 crore, they don’t tell how much they made profit,” Amit Shah said at an “India Today” event “Gujarat Panchayat”.

Answering questions, he said that after making a turnover of Rs 80 crore, Jay made a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. “Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks,” he said.

Asked about Jay Shah filing a defamation suit against the publication, Shah said: “Before answering your question I would like to ask you one thing. After Independence, how many corruption charges have been made against the Congress?

“Please understand this is not corruption. Many allegations of corruption were made against the Congress. Did it ever file a civil suit or defamation suit? No. Why they lacked such courage? Today Jay has filed a defamation as well as civil suit and is demanding a probe himself. Those who have the evidence can submit it to the court, and then the court will decide,” the BJP president said.

He said: “We have ourselves invited a probe and on the company issue I want to clarify that it has not done business with the government of even Re 1 nor taken any government land or tender. Neither has it received kickbacks as in the case of Bofors.”

When asked about Jay’s company securing unsecured loans, Shah said it was not unsecured loans. “It was a line of credit,” he added. (IANS)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)