Days after Bihar elections, a contempt petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Bihar's Election Commissioner alleging that they have failed to comply with the Top Court's direction regarding the uploading of names of candidates who have criminal cases pending against them.
The SC in its order on February 12, 2020, said that all political parties will have to publish details of criminal antecedents of their candidates in Lok Sabha and assembly polls within 48 hours of selection of the candidate or within two weeks of nomination. The petitioner has sought contempt against the concerned officers for non-implementation by the political parties.
READ | Ex-Hyderabad Mayor Karthika Reddy Of Congress Joins BJP Ahead Of GHMC Polls
Eight of the 14 ministers who took oath-of-office at the Bihar Raj Bhavan had declared criminal cases against themselves, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Six (43 per cent) of the ministers had declared serious criminal cases against themselves, according to the poll rights group. Serious criminal cases are non-bailable offences with over five years of imprisonment. Affidavits of two out of six ministers analysed from the JD(U), four out of six ministers analysed from the BJP, one minister analysed from the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and one from the Vikassheel Insaan Party show criminal cases against them. Eight or 57 per cent of the ministers face criminal cases.
READ | 'Hurt Sentiments Of Party Workers': Gehlot Attacks Sibal, Affirms Faith In Cong Leadership
As many as 13 (93 per cent) are crorepatis with their average assets pegged at Rs 3.93 crore, the report said. The (now ex-) minister with the highest declared total assets was Mewa Lal Choudhary from Tarapur constituency with assets worth Rs 12.31 crore and the minister with the lowest declared total assets is Ashok Chaudhary with assets worth Rs 72.89 lakh. Four (29 per cent) ministers had declared their educational qualification to be between 8th and 12th standard, while 10 (71 per cent) ministers had declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above, the poll rights body said. A total of six (43 per cent) ministers had declared their age to be between 41-50 years, while eight (57 per cent) ministers had declared their age to be between 51-75 years. Out of 14 ministers, two are women, while Mewa Lal Choudhary was forced to resign over corruption charges within just 3 days.
The Bihar assembly elections results were declared around midnight on November 10-November 11, with the ruling coalition - NDA winning 125 in the 243-member assembly, against Mahagathbandhan's 110. Even as the contest remained neck and neck throughout the day, RJD under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, became the single largest party with 75 seats, followed by BJP's 74. While Chirag Paswan's LJP won one seat, it made a major dent in JDU's tally that has come down to 43 from 71 in 2015. The biggest clincher is Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM winning 5 seats and CPI-ML winning 12 seats. The other two left parties - CPI and CPI-M won two each. The other two alliance partners of NDA - HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) won four seats each.