New Delhi: With an aim of cleansing polity from criminals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the judiciary will be asked to decide pending cases against MPs within a year.
Replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address in Rajya Sabha, he said this will be later replicated in states and civic bodies.
“There is a public perception that those who are in Parliament have criminal background. We have to remove this stigma. We will request the Supreme Court to expedite the pending cases against any member and decide them within a year,” Modi said while making his first speech in the Upper House.
“Those who are guilty will go to jail and those who are innocent can move with respect and hold their head high,” he said while talking about corruption and taint on politicians.
“We see many of them are victims of such perception. Let's start from here. The law should prevail and no guilty should be spared. They should be punished,” he said.
Talking about decriminalisation of politics, he sought the cooperation from members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in this direction to restore the confidence of people in Indian polity.
Referring to the malaise of corruption and his government's resolve to eradicate it, he said the entry of bad governance in administration is like a body afflicted with diabetes. “It can destroy whole system,” he said.
In the recently-elected 16th Lok Sabha, 34 per cent of MPs face criminal charges. It was 30 per cent in 2009 and 24 per cent in 2004.
Noting that the country has earned the image of “scam India” in the world, he said, “The confidence has been lost, which needs to be restored. The confidence should not be broken. It is a big challenge, but we can do it if we sit together.”
Civil society group ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of 541 out of 543 winners in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections filed before the Election Commission.
It reportedly found that 34 per cent of the winning candidates are facing criminal charges. It was 30 per cent in 2009 and 24 per cent in 2004.
The Prime Minister said the common man is “fed up” with corruption and lawmakers should be concerned about eliminating the menace.
He asked states to work on laying down policies to minimise corruption and eradicate any “grey areas”, noting that technology can play a big role in this regard.
Corruption destroys the entire system, like diabetes once inflicted in a body can destroy the whole body, Modi said.
Referring to blackmoney, he said the government's commitment to unearth was demonstrated when it set up an SIT soon after assuming power.
Contending that there was no information about whether there is blackmoney and to whom it belongs, he said the “courageous” step to set up SIT will help answer these questions.