44 corporators have criminal record: Report

Close to 20 per cent,or 44 of 226 corporators have a criminal record,says a report released by Praja Foundation Tuesday.

Written by Alison Saldanha | Mumbai | Published: September 4, 2013 1:31 am

Close to 20 per cent,or 44 of 226 corporators have a criminal record,says a report released by Praja Foundation Tuesday.

According to the report,election affidavits of 34 corporators filed in February 2012 show that FIRs had been registered against them prior to their appointment. Data obtained by Praja Foundation through the Right to Information (RTI) Act also shows that post-election,up to December 31,2012,new FIRs were registered against 18 councillors.

Chargesheets have also been filed against 35 corporators after their election to office,the RTI findings reveal.

“It is a sad reflection of our society if political parties at the grassroots level encourage those with criminal record to participate in elections and be public representatives. This is a malaise that affects all parties. It needs to be nipped in the bud,” Nitai Mehta,managing trustee of Praja Foundation,said.

In the evaluation,a councillor receives seven points if there is no criminal record in the affidavit or thereafter. If the councillor has an FIR as per his affidavit,he is awarded 3 points. A fresh FIR registered after the election leads to a negative marking of 5. If the corporator has been chargesheeted,further negative marking is awarded.

The ruling Shiv Sena,which has the highest number of elected representatives in the BMC,also has the highest number of criminal cases registered against its corporators.

Sena corporators Ramakant Rahate (E-ward),Kishori Pednekar (G-South ward),Dinesh Panchal (M-East ward),and NCP corporator Harun Khan (N-ward) have the worst score of -10. Pednekar and Khan are also members of the civic standing committee while Rahate is a member of the BMC improvements committee.

In general,the average crime record score for all 226 corporators (excluding Sena corporator Sunil Prabhu) is 3.23 out of a maximum of 5.

The Akhil Bharatiya Sena with two corporators,Vandana Gawli and Geeta Gawli,both of whom are related to gangster Arun Gawli,have the best average score of 5. At -5,Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangha,with only one elected representative,has the worst criminal record average.

Among the heavyweight parties in the civic body,the MNS with 28 members has the worst average score of 2.29,followed by the Sena with 2.5 despite its strength of 74 party members. Sena ally BJP,with 31 members,has the second best score of 4.45.

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